Retail workers are heroes. They put up with long hours and angry customers, among a lot of other things. This work is hard on younger, able-bodied people, but it can really take a toll on a senior citizen. That's why it was so heartbreaking for TikToker Devan Bonagura (@dbon973_) to see 81-year-old Nola Carpenter sitting in the break room of the Walmart where she works. In the short video he shared, the woman appears tired and stares at the floor as if bracing for another portion of her shift. The video eventually went viral, earning over 30 million views and igniting a movement that would change Carpenter's life.
Although Bonagura didn't work at the Walmart himself, he happened to be there as he worked for a third-party company that sells phones at the store. He posted a short video of her with the message “Life shouldn't b[e] this hard…” and the caption “I feel bad.” Eventually, his followers urged him to find a way to support this woman, and it inspired him to open a GoFundMe campaign titled “Let’s help Nola retire.” The idea was to support Carpenter so she could finally hang up her blue vest.
The response was swift, and although the initial goal was just $10,000, 24 hours later over $100,000 had been donated. Two days later, he finally met up with Nola and told her how he had posted a video of her and how people had come together to help her. “They saw that you’re a very hard worker, obviously,” the TikToker told the woman. “We are all super proud of you, and we wanted to offer you the $110,000 that has been raised for you.”
A perplexed Carpenter replies that wouldn't be the end of it. “I’d accept it, but I’d still have to work until I get the other $60,000 paid off the house,” she explains. “That’s what’s holding me at work—the house,” adding that it wouldn't take as long with the donated sum. Eventually, it was announced in a later video that the additional money was raised for Carpenter to finally be at peace.
However, the hardworking woman disclosed that, despite reaching her goal, she won't retire until the New Year. “I'm going to help them out for the holidays, and after that, it'll be good to stay at home,” said Carpenter. She has worked at Walmart for over 20 years and deserves to spend her golden years lounging at home instead of at retail shifts. “I'm going to miss my customers. They look for me every day,” she said.
After TikToker Devan Bonagura spotted 81-year-old Nola Carpenter sitting in the break room of the Walmart where she works, a GoFundMe campaign was launched to help the woman retire.
@dbon973_ :/ I feel bad. #fyp #blowthisup #sad #walmart ♬ Jocelyn Flores – XXXTENTACION
The response was swift. The initial goal was just $10,000 but 24 hours later over $100,000 had been donated.
@dbon973_ Replying to @frejolebean let’s do it #fyp #help #blowthisup ♬ Jocelyn Flores – XXXTENTACION
The woman explained that she was working to pay off her mortgage, and donations eventually matched the sum she needed to hang her blue vest.
@dbon973_ WE LOVE YOU NOLA I HOPE THIS HELPS❤️🙏 #blowthisup #fyp #gofundme #nola #walmart #viralvideo ♬ original sound – DBON
Despite reaching her goal, she won't retire until the New Year, as she wants to help her team through the holidays.
@dbon973_ Update video with Nola ❤️ #nola #dbon #gofundme #viral #blowthisup #love #kindness #givingback ♬ original sound – DBON
h/t: [Bored Panda]