Nola Carpenter is 81 years old, but she still works. She has been working in a branch of the US retail group Walmart for more than 20 years. Devan Bonagura is 19 years old and works at the same Walmart in New Jersey as Carpenter. The 62-year-old man is the reason why the old lady can finally go into her well-deserved retirement.
Bonagura first met Carpenter in the Walmart break room a few weeks ago. "She was limping and had trouble walking in general," he recalls. The 19-year-old was shocked that someone of that age and with such health conditions was still having to work. He posted a video with Carpenter on his TikTok account, captioned: "Life shouldn't be this hard."
The feedback was gigantic. Uploaded in early November, the clip has been viewed more than 31 million times. When Bonagura saw the community's sympathy for Carpenter, he came up with the idea of raising money for her so the 81-year-old could finally quit her job. An online fundraising campaign raised 110,000 dollars – the equivalent of a little more than 100,000 euros – within a very short time.
An amount that of course made a huge difference for the 81-year-old lady, but did not completely solve her problems. She confided to Bonagura that she needed the money to pay off the mortgage on her house. And to do that, she'd have to keep working because she was still missing $60,000. But now Nola Carpenter doesn't have to worry about that anymore. The missing amount was also donated. In total, it was 186,000 US dollars, more than 175,000 euros.
However, Bonagura's action was not entirely without headwind. Carpenter isn't directly employed by Walmart, but works for a company that sells cell phones in the Walmart store. Still, fearing bad publicity, Walmart asked Bonagura to stop the campaign and delete his videos, the 19-year-old claimed. Otherwise the police will be involved. But Bonagura refused.
Nola Carpenter is now ready to retire after a long working life but will wait until early next year to do so. First of all, she would like to support her work colleagues during the stressful pre-Christmas period.
Sources: Devan Bonagura on TikTok / "New York Post" / GoFundMe
Watch the video: Harry knows exactly what he wants. For the five-year-old, animals do not belong on the plate and he is committed to this. The little Briton sells self-pressed carrot juice in his kindergarten - he donates the money to an animal shelter.