James Robertson has given new meaning to the phrase “Walk a mile in my shoes.”
The 56-year-old Detroit man, who averages 21 miles on foot for his daily commute to work, garnered publicity earlier this week in the “Detroit Free Press.” While he takes the bus part of the way, Robertson walks the remainder, regardless of the weather.
Robertson relies on a pair of classic chamois-color workboots to get him to and from his factory job, where he boasts a stellar attendance record and earns just over $10 an hour. He’s been tackling the arduous commute for nearly a decade after his Honda quit, his employer moved farther away and bus service was cut back in metro Detroit.
After Robertson’s story was brought to light last Sunday in the “Detroit Free Press” by Blake Pollock, a banker who’d often give the man a lift to work, college student Evan Leedy of Wayne State University was called into action. He set up a fund-raiser for a new car for Robertson on the GoFundMe website.
So far supporters have contributed more than $300,000 — enough to buy a Maserati. However, since Robertson’s a Ford man, he’ll be getting a red 2015 Taurus, courtesy of Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights.
The new set of wheels will likely take some wear and tear off his workboots, and even allow him to expand his shoe wardrobe.
Robertson remains in the limelight tonight as ABC names him “Person of the Week” during its “World News Tonight” program, along with Leedy and Pollock.
Now, with a sizable bank account, Robertson needs a money manager. Here, Pollock, a banker at UBS, has once again stepped in to help. The money will be used for auto insurance, gasoline and maintenance, as well as helping with future medical and dental expenses.