A 79-year-old veteran got the surprise of a lifetime when he learned that the internet raised $45,000 to replace his broken mobility scooter.
Kenny Jary, better known to the internet by his TikTok moniker @patriotickenny, has been a staple around his town of Willernie, Minnesota, where he spends his time driving around and meeting new people on his scooter, covered in American flags and impossible to miss.
His next-door neighbor, Amanda, started a TikTok account for him, which she runs, and which allowed him to share his wisdom and positive outlook with people outside of his community.
But just a week after the account was up and running, Kenny’s scooter broke down, and because it’s an outdated model, he was told it couldn’t really be fixed.
“I was in tears,” he said. “You know, I met some beautiful people on this scooter by traveling around the coffee shop and Veteran’s Park.”
Amanda took it upon herself to launch a GoFundMe, hoping to raise $5000 to replace Kenny’s scooter. The goal was funded in almost no time, and Kenny’s reaction was priceless.
The Navy vet broke down in tears when Amanda told him the good news, but she came back only a few days later with even bigger news — the GoFundMe had continued to grow and donations had reached a whopping $45,000.
“That’s like winning the lottery!” Kenny said, overcome by emotion yet again. “Ever since I started going back to church, God has watched over me and he gave me all kinds of angels, taking care of me, and doing this, and everything.”
Of course, things didn’t stop there, either, and as of Monday, the internet has raised over $95,000 to help Kenny out. Amanda says the extra money will go towards helping Kenny out with medical bills and debt, and that they’ll be sure to keep his TikTok fans updated along the way.