An 82-year-old Navy veteran who made a living at Walmart in Maryland has retired thanks to the generosity of strangers.
Butch Marion officially quit his job Wednesday after online donors raised more than $108,000 for him via GoFundMe, according to FOX affiliate WTTG.
Rory McCarty, who launched a fundraiser in December after posting on TikTok with Marion’s blessing, presented the Cumberland man with a money check as he left the store.
“I’m so excited for him,” McCarty, 53, told the outlet.
According to WTTG, Marion’s story first gained traction last month after he crossed paths with McCarty, who was visiting Walmart to buy a pack of batteries.
In a TikTok video shared Dec. 16, McCarty told Marion about a clip he saw on the platform. In that video, a woman asked viewers to help raise money to support another 82-year-old Walmart employee.
That woman, Elizabeth “Liz” Rizzo of Arizona, helped ABC affiliate WABC raise more than $135,000 for an employee identified as Carmen Kelly.
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“Now imagine someone raised that kind of money for you!” McCarty said in a TikTok video.
Sure enough, TikTok users came to the rescue. As of Thursday, he has raised more than $115,000 through fundraising.
In a Dec. 18 video posted by McCarty, Marion asked “Is this real?” and “How did you get so lucky?”
In the clip, Marion says she worked at her local Walmart for a living and has been working since she was 11 years old.
When asked what he planned to do with the money, the man said he would see his children, work around the house and “enjoy” the rest of his life.
According to WTTG, the fundraiser raised $100,000 in just two days. Marion told the outlet it’s a Christmas miracle.
On Wednesday, Marion and McCarty hugged outside a Walmart to celebrate a new chapter in Marion’s life.
“I feel like a new man,” the former retail worker told WTTG. “This is unreal.”
Marion and McCarty were strangers a month ago but are now friends. They met and dined with Lizzo late last month.
McCarty shared a video of the trio dining together and praised her idea of Lizzo helping others and encouraged her to do the same. That’s what inspired me to make your video,” McCarty told Marion in the clip. “So without her, all of this wouldn’t have been possible.”
On Thursday, McCarty shared a series of photos from Marion’s final day at Walmart, along with a special message for those who helped retail workers.
“Butch wanted to thank everyone who contributed to this miracle you gave him,” McCarty wrote in the video’s caption. rice field.”