By Perris Jones
MOORE, Oklahoma (KOCO) — Imagine walking more than 17 miles to get to work in the scorching heat – KOCO 5 introduced you to Donte Franklin, who makes that journey every day to get to his job at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Now, some good Samaritans are stepping up to make sure he has a ride to work. They gifted him with a new bicycle.
Franklin has spent the last month or so walking around 8 miles to and from work each day, which takes about 2 1/2 hours each way. Now, he’ll be able to cut that time down significantly with his new bike.
The saying is nothing happens by chance. If you ask Michael Lynn, he’ll agree.
“I think it was destiny, I think we’re meant to be,” Lynn said.
Lynn happened to be running errands one day and saw Franklin walking.
“I was going down 12th Street and I saw him. I was thinking, ‘boy, it’s a hot day,’” Lynn said. “One thing led to another and I’m finding out he’s taking 27th Street goes into 104th all the way out to 44 and I just couldn’t believe it.”
Lynn offered Franklin a ride to work and when he learned more of Franklin’s circumstances, he made a Facebook post about it.
“I’ll be honest with you, I probably wouldn’t walk 8 miles to a job,” Lynn said.
Kerri Collins saw his post. She happens to be the administrator of the biker charity group MRBO, My Riding Buddies Oklahoma and Bikers for Elves. Her husband is the founder.
“Anytime I see something posted concerning anybody anywhere in Oklahoma, I immediately jump in and we do whatever we can as a group,” Collins said. “It just touched me that this man is only 20 years old and is walking to two different jobs with nothing in the heat. It opened my heart, because kids his age don’t do that.”
Before his shift, the group decided to pay Franklin a visit, to his surprise, gifting him with a brand new bike.
“It’s a blessing. I really appreciate it. I’m thankful for it,” Franklin said.
Lynn said he and Franklin have stayed in touch since the day he gave him a ride and hopes it remains that way.
“As long as he wants to, I want to keep him in my life and I want to be in his life,” Lynn said. “This is what I told him, if the Lord opens the door for you, walk through it, walk through, and I think it’s open for him and the rest is up to him,” Lynn said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Franklin by some folks who are trying to help him get a car, but he does still need to get a driver’s license, so in the meantime, he’ll have his bike to get around.
The fundraiser has raised nearly $27,000 as of Monday morning.
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