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12th Nov 2022

TikToker raises almost $180,000 for elderly Walmart worker to retire

Steve Hopkins

‘Life shouldn’t be this hard’

A TikTok user has raised almost $180,000 (£152k) for an elderly Walmart worker so that she can afford to retire after capturing the hearts of the internet with a heartbreaking video of her looking worn out on her break.

Content creator Devan Bonagura (@dbon973_) initially posted a video of the pensioner, known only as Nola, on November 3. She was sat in her Walmart uniform, with vest and name tag on, in the staff break room, seemingly staring at her feet.

He captioned the short clip, “life shouldn’t be this hard”, before adding “I feed bad.”

The video quickly went viral and by Saturday had racked up over 27 million views.

@dbon973_ :/ I feel bad. #fyp #blowthisup #sad #walmart ♬ Jocelyn Flores – XXXTENTACION

Many commenters urged Devan to launch a GoFundMe for the woman so that they could donate.

So he did, and he posted that on TikTok as well, writing: “Let’s help Nola retire.”

He added in the GoFundMe description: “Nola works at Walmart and that says enough. Let’s all come together and help.”

Devan later claimed that his good gesture hadn’t gone down well with everyone, with Walmart threatening police action if he did not remove the video and GoFundMe page.

He claimed to his followers: “So, I told them: ‘Do what you gotta do, because I’m getting this money to this woman one way or another.”

Walmart has not commented on the matter.

@dbon973_ Replying to @frejolebean let’s do it #fyp #help #blowthisup ♬ Jocelyn Flores – XXXTENTACION

A day after posting the original video Devan surprised Nola as she arrived at work.

He told her: “They saw that you’re a very hard worker, obviously.

“We are all super proud of you, and we wanted to offer you the $110,000 that has been raised for you.”

Responding to the kind gesture, Nola said she would gladly accept the money, but would “still have to work until I get the other $70,000 or $60,000 paid off the house”.

@dbon973_ WE LOVE YOU NOLA I HOPE THIS HELPS❤️? #blowthisup #fyp #gofundme #nola #walmart #viralvideo ♬ original sound – DBON

She did add that the donation would make a huge difference to her mortgage, though, saying: “It won’t take long now with all that money.”

Nola also said that she would retire as soon as she earns enough money to pay it off: “That’s what’s holding me at work — the house.”

As of Saturday morning the GoFundMe had reached $179,000 so perhaps Nola will be quitting her job real soon.

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