Christmas came early for a longtime Walmart employee who received a life-changing payment thanks to a customer who was inspired by her story.
Eighty-two-year-old Carmen Kelly caught the eye of shopper Elizabeth Rizzo at a Walmart in Arizona earlier this month.
Rizzo first posted a Tiktok conversation with Kelly showing her working while using a cane, noting that she couldn’t sit on her shift and that she had to work to pay medical bills.
“I’m going to make this go viral and help you, Carmen. I’m going to do my best,” Rizzo says in the video, which has since been viewed more than 15.2 million times.
@rustywarrenknockersupgal #walmartgofundme #walmartfundraiser #carmen #https ♬ original sound – Rusty Warren
Thousands flooded the comment section and offered their support to the employee.
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“She seems like such a sweet lady with a great mind,” one user wrote.
Rizzo then launched a GoFundMe to help pay Kelly’s bills with a hefty $10,000 goal.
As of Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser had raised more than $130,000.
Over the weekend, Rizzo talked about how successful the GoFundMe had been with Kelly, who was overjoyed and overwhelmed.
@rustywarrenknockersupgal #walmartcarmen #fundraiserwalmart #lizrizzo #carmen #fundraiser ♬ original sound – Rusty Warren
“I could never, ever pay you back,” says Kelly. “You change my whole life and I just feel like God sent you to me.”
In a fortuitous turn of events, it was revealed in that TikTok that Rizzo and Kelly are, in fact, neighbors. The video also explained that Kelly and her family will use a finance team and an advisor to ensure that the money raised goes into a trust for Kelly, noting that she must claim the money by April, but at the end of this year can start with the transfer. month.
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Rizzo provided viewers with another recent update featuring Kelly. She excitedly thanked TikTok and told viewers that people in the store came up to her to congratulate her.
@rustywarrenknockersupgal #walmartcarmenfundraiser ♬ original sound – Rusty Warren
“The way she keeps looking around because she knows she has work to do! What a hardworking, sweet little lady,” one viewer wrote.
It’s not clear if Kelly has been able to file her retirement notice yet, but she told Rizzo that she hopes she will.
There’s nothing like the goodwill of others to spread a little holiday cheer this season.