When New Jersey native Devan Bonagura offered assistance to a person who was struggling the hardest, he had no idea that his life would be irrevocably altered in such a dramatic way as a direct result of his actions. It was an experience that not only enlightened him but also motivated him and numerous others to pursue similar endeavors.
It all started when he uploaded his fifth video on the famous video-sharing site, which was a 15-second clip that he placed on TikTok. Even though Bonagura had his motives for posting the little film, he couldn’t have possibly expected the reaction it would generate since even he couldn’t predict the future.
In the video taken by the young guy, an older woman can be seen relaxing during her shift at the Walmart in Hackettstown, New Jersey, while sitting at the table in the break room. As of the 28th of November, the video has amassed 30.8 million views and 4.6 million responses, indicating that it has become a viral phenomenon.
The elderly lady was appreciative of his assistance, but she said that the sum wouldn’t be enough to cover the whole of her mortgage payment.
It found out that the elderly woman seen in the film was 81-year-old Nola Carpenter from New Jersey, who had been employed for the multinational corporation for more than 20 years at the time of the video’s release. Within a short period of time, the video clip that went viral accumulated hundreds of comments from internet users located all over the world. The in-lay text read as follows:
“Life shouldn’t be this hard.”
Others indicated a great urge to give Carpenter a hug and assist in making her feel better, despite the fact that several said that she seemed exhausted and on the point of giving up. Because of the enormous reaction of the people, something pulled at Bonagura’s emotions, and he felt he couldn’t just stand by and let it happen.
In due time, Bonagura was enlightened to the fact that Carpenter’s decision to continue working after reaching retirement age was motivated by the desire to amass sufficient funds with which to pay off her mortgage. On the other hand, given that Walmart pays its employees an average of $17–19 per hour, it is quite possible that it would have taken the elderly woman a very long time to save up enough money.
As a result, Bonagura decided to start a crowdfunding website for Carpenter with the heading “Let’s help Nola retire,” in an effort to make her life a little easier and in response to a suggestion made by a commenter. It said in the caption:
“Simply the fact that Nola works at Walmart is sufficient evidence of this. Let’s get together and provide our assistance.”
Later, Bonagura disclosed that he was working for a third-party firm that sold things at Walmart rather than for the retail giant itself. In a subsequent video uploaded on November 4, the young guy provided his audience with an update on the status of the Carpenter investigation and revealed some startling information.
He said that shop management had instructed him to erase the viral video and deactivate the fundraising page because the well-known business was supposedly being intimidated and getting harsh criticism. The manager also mentioned that they would call the police if it were necessary to do so. But Bonagura said that he was very transparent about his opinion on the issue:
“I told them to do whatever they needed to do because I would get this money to this lady in some form or another,” the narrator says.
The man from New Jersey said that he was even suspended from his work, but that it didn’t matter since he was happy that he was able to assist Carpenter. He said that he was given money while he was suspended.
In a second video that was uploaded on November 5, Bonagura surprised Carpenter by paying her a visit. After a short conversation, he deposited the sum of $110,000 that had been received via the fundraising into her bank account. The elderly lady was appreciative of his assistance, but she said that the sum wouldn’t be enough to cover the whole of her mortgage payment.
Carpenter stated that she would need to keep working until she could make an additional $60,000, and given her hourly wage at the store, it would have taken her too much time to save up such a significant sum of money. Carpenter said that she would have to continue working until she could make this amount. As a result, Bonagura maintained the GoFundMe page until it received a total of 13,500 contributions for a total of 186,323 dollars.
On November 14, the 19-year-old Bonagura provided Carpenter with an update video. In the video, he performed a brief Q&A session with her after handing over the whole earnings from the GoFundMe page. Bonagura shared the video with Carpenter.
Carpenter, who had saved enough money for retirement at last, remarked, “I feel wonderful, and I’m appreciative to Devan for what he’s done.” Without Devan’s assistance, none of this would have been possible.
Carpenter, who had worked for the business for over 20 years, started feeling sentimental and said that she would miss seeing her usual customers. In addition to this, she said unequivocally that she would keep working over the Christmas season and that she would leave her job at the beginning of 2023.