A young man witnessed an elderly woman working in a Walmart shop and couldn’t help but think about her circumstances. He decided to take action after finding that she couldn’t retire since she needed to pay off her mortgage.
Devan Bonagura of New Jersey had no idea how radically his life would alter because he gave a helping hand to someone in need. It was an occasion that taught him valuable lessons while also inspiring others to do the same.
It all started when he uploaded a 15-second TikTok video, his sixth on the popular video-sharing app. While Bonagura had his motives for posting the brief film, he had no idea how well it would be received.
During her shift, the young man’s camera showed an older lady seated at the break room table at the Walmart in Hackettstown, New Jersey. As of November 28, the video had received 30.8 million views and 4.6 million responses, making it a viral phenomenon.
While the old woman was appreciative of his assistance, she stated that the sum was insufficient to fully pay her mortgage.
Nola Carpenter, a New Jersey native who has worked for the major retailer for over two decades, was revealed to be the older city in the video. The viral video quickly gathered hundreds of comments from people all around the world. Its inlay wording stated:
“Life shouldn’t be this difficult.”
While some suggested Carpenter was exhausted and on the point of giving up, others felt a great desire to embrace her and make her feel better. Given the tremendous response, something tugged at Bonagura’s emotions, and he realized he couldn’t stand by and watch.
Bonagura eventually discovered that Carpenter had been working instead of enjoying her retirement in order to pay off her mortgage. However, at an hourly wage of $17–$19 at Walmart, it would have taken the elderly lady a long time to save enough money.
So, in response to a commenter’s idea, Bonagura set up a GoFundMe website for Carpenter called “Let’s Help Nola Retire.” The caption read:
“Nola works at Walmart, which says it all. Let us all pitch in and help.”
Bonagura eventually confessed that he was not employed by Walmart but rather by a third-party firm that sold things there. On November 4, the young guy updated his fans on Carpenter’s narrative and made surprising discoveries in a follow-up video.
He stated that a business manager instructed him to erase the viral video and destroy the fundraising page because the well-known retailer had supposedly been intimidated and faced harsh criticism. But Bonagura was adamant about his position on the issue.
“So I told them to do whatever they had to do because I was going to get this money to this woman one way or another.”
The New Jersey teen claimed he was even fired from his job, but none of that mattered since he was delighted he could assist Carpenter.
Another video, released on November 5, shows Bonagura paying Carpenter a surprise visit and transferring $110,000 earned through the fundraising into her account after a brief conversation. While the old woman was appreciative of his assistance, she stated that the sum was insufficient to fully pay her mortgage.
Carpenter stated that she would have to continue working until she could earn an extra $60,000, which would have taken much too long considering her hourly rate at the business. So, Bonagura acknowledged that he left the GoFundMe page online until it received $186,323 in donations from 13,500 people.
On November 14, 19-year-old Bonagura posted an update video with 81-year-old Carpenter, in which he had a brief Q&A session with her. “I feel fantastic, and I’m grateful to Devan for what he’s done because none of this would have been possible,” Carpenter said, adding that she had been working at Walmart to pay off her mortgage.
Carpenter got sentimental after working at the shop for nearly 20 years, expressing that she would miss seeing her usual customers. She also stated that she will work through the holidays and retire at the beginning of 2023.
When the touching tale spread on other social media sites, such as Facebook, Bonagura’s efforts to assist Carpenter were highly acknowledged and applauded by netizens.
“Excellent work, young man.” “You are an inspiration to your generation.”
November 25, 2022 (@dian.coulthard)
“I’m pleased you could do this for this lady. I know it’s hard to work as old as she is; there are a lot of colleagues working at this age just to keep themselves going, but when you have a mortgage and have to work no matter what, that’s horrible. God bless you.”
November 25, 2022 (@taximom121)