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I raised $170K for an elderly worker — but my good deed got me in trouble

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A man has gone viral after he raised $170,000 dollars for an elderly worker to help pay off her mortgage and help her retire.
A man has gone viral by raising $170,000 for an elderly worker to help pay off her mortgage so she can retire. TikTok / dbon973_

An elderly Walmart employee may be able to live better thanks to $170,000 raised for her after she was featured in a heart-wrenching TikTok video.

Last week, Devan Bonagura posted a 15-second TikTok of the woman — whose name tag identifies her as Nola — sitting alone in the break room of a Walmart store.

“Life shouldn’t b this hard,” reads the text on the video, which has garnered more than 26 million views.

An overwhelming response from commenters spurred Bonagura to set up a GoFundMe. Within 24 hours, it had topped $100,000, far surpassing the initial goal of $10,000.

Bonagura posted a follow-up video that showed him meeting with Nola to transfer the money.

“They saw that you’re a very hard worker, obviously,” said Bonagura.

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

The woman thanked him for the generous donation, commenting that it would go toward her mortgage. She said she still needs another $60,000 to pay off the house completely.

“I’d accept it, but I’d still have to work until I get the other $60,000 paid off the house,” stated Nola.

Walmart says its average wage is $19 an hour, meaning Nola would still have to work several more years to pay off the house in full.

The woman thanked him for the generous donation, commenting that while it would help the mortgage go down, she needed another $60,000 to pay off the house completely.
The woman thanked him for the generous donation, commenting that while it would help lower the mortgage, she needs another $60,000 to pay off the house completely.
TikTok / dbon973_

Nola said her mortgage is the only thing really keeping her working at Walmart.

The Post reached out to Walmart and Bonagura for comment.

According to Bonagura, who said he works for a third-party vendor that sells phones inside Walmart, a store manager asked him to take both the video and GoFundMe down, as the superchain has allegedly received threats.

“They’re getting a lot of backlash, so they told me I need to delete the video and delete the GoFundMe and return all the money to the people that donated it, or they’re going to get the cops involved,” said Bonagura.

“So, I told them to do what you have to do because I’m getting this money to this woman one way or another.” 

According to another video, Bonagura has since been suspended by his employer, with pay. The fund-raiser had surpassed $171,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

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