Woman Raises Over $222,000 For 90-Year-Old Veteran Spotted Working On Memorial Day

June 6, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Metairie, Louisiana.

A community came together to transform the life of a 90-year-old Air Force veteran working at a Metairie, Louisiana grocery store. Karen Swensen, a former news anchor, spotted Dillon McCormick pushing shopping carts in the sweltering 90-degree heat, with the heat index reaching a scorching 103 degrees.

Dillon McCormick
Dillon McCormick / Karen Ronquillo

Swensen was struck by the sight of McCormick, who has been working at the Winn Dixie for 23 years, tirelessly pushing shopping carts outside. Driven by curiosity and concern, she approached him to learn more.

"I remember I said it's Memorial Day and you're out here working, and I said may I ask why," Swensen recalled. His heartfelt response was simple and poignant: "To eat."

Living on a meager $1,100 in Social Security each month, McCormick’s monthly bills totaling $2,500 left him no choice but to work to bridge the gap. Touched by his plight, Swensen decided to take immediate action. She recorded their conversation and shared it on social media, launching a GoFundMe campaign to support McCormick.

The response was overwhelming. Within just 24 hours, the fundraiser had soared past $244,000, fueled by the generosity of strangers from across the nation.

Swensen shared the joyous news on the GoFundMe page, writing, "Together, we raised more than $220,000 in 24 hours, enough for him to retire!! Should he choose to remain working, it will be just that - his choice. No longer will the 90-year-old veteran have to push shopping carts in triple digit heat to put food on his table. He won't have to walk to work (should he choose to remain); he can Uber instead, or buy a car. He will live out his days in comfort and security."

Swensen said she was not surprised by the community's response.

"So often, we think of ourselves as divided. Right? Us and them. No, this was 'we' and 'our.' We take care of our own not only in Louisiana, but this entire nation banded together. I looked at who was donating… it's the left, it's the right, it's everything in between. We united for the right reason," she said.

Watch the good news video below.

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