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He did not hesitate to step in and change her life.

An easy, breezy retirement is not a given for everyone. Many people don’t have well-paying jobs, a maxed out 401K, and great benefits from a benevolent employer.

There are millions of Americans who continue to live paycheck to paycheck until their last days — far past the age of 65. An elderly Walmart employee was facing this reality until a social media maverick decided to lend her a helping hand.

Why an Elderly Woman Worked at Walmart

interior of a walmart
Photo by Caique Morais on Unsplash

Devan Bonagura was just a regular guy, working a day job to pay the bills and playing around on TikTok in his free time. One afternoon while on the job, he saw an elderly woman in the break room at Walmart, exhausted from working on her feet all day.

The woman was well past retirement age — Devan was touched and upset to see that she still had to work so hard instead of being able to enjoy retirement and the fruits of her labor.

He posted a video of her captioned: “Life shouldn’t be this hard…:/ I feel bad.” The video went viral and eventually garnered over 3 million views. Commenters flocked to the post, encouraging Devan to set up a GoFundMe for the employee. Devan did just that, and was stunned by the results. 

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Devan continued to share his story online. 24 hours after sharing the GoFundMe he had set up for the Walmart employee, whose name tag said Nola, Devan had already raised $100,000. He was shocked and amazed.

He decided to return to the Superstore to present Nola with the amazing news. He coordinated a surprise with Nola’s daughter and told the women that TikTok had seen her story and banded together to help her. She was grateful but told Devan that $100,000 wasn’t enough for her to retire — she still owed $170,000 on her mortgage, and she would have to work until she was able to pay the whole thing off.

Not to worry — the GoFundMe was up past $200,000 in just a few days. Nola, who is 82 years old, would finally be able to retire! 

How One Man Didn’t Let Adversity Stop Him

As soon as Devan posted the video and the GoFundMe, he got a call from the Walmart store manager. The call wasn’t positive. The manager threatened to call the police if Devon didn’t remove the TikTok and the GoFundMe, but Devon refused.

Then, his own employer (a retailer who operates a separate business inside of the Walmart store) suspended Devon with pay while they investigated whether or not the TikToker was in violation of any policies. Devon didn’t let the corporate powers intimidate him — he continued on his path.

In the months since his amazing interaction with Nola, Devan has grown his TikTok and continued to do good deeds, raising more money and helping the homeless.

Devan’s selfless acts have helped many people improve their quality of life, and his own quality of life has improved! We should all strive to be a little bit more like Devan — if we see something that makes us feel bad, we should try to change it.

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