An 82-year-old Navy veteran happily retired from his job as a Walmart cashier last week thanks to the power of TikTok.
Rory McCarty said he was inspired to help the elderly employee — Warren “Butch” Marion, from Cumberland, Maryland — after seeing a TikTok about an elderly female Walmart employee who said she had to work at the retail chain to make ends meet.
McCarty’s mission started in December when he uploaded a video of Marion hard at work and asked his 277,000 followers if they would help him retire. He then made a GoFundMe page for Marion with the goal of raising $100,000.
A small bushiness owner himself, McCarty said he was “astounded” to see Marion still working “eight- or nine-hour shifts.”
“I just wanted to put something in motion, and the Lord did the rest,” McCarty told FOX 5.
“I wanted to help this Navy veteran to live the remainder of his years traveling to see his kids in Florida,” McCarty explained on the GoFundMe page. “Get him off his feet for eight hrs at a time, and do the things he would love to do that he may not be able to for financial reasons.”
Marion told the outlet he worked about 30 hours a week at Walmart. He said he retired years ago from General Motors to help take care of his ex-wife’s husband before he died, then he got a job at Walmart.
The GoFundMe has over 5,700 donors who have chipped in a total of $141,000 — far exceeding the $100,000 goal.
Thus, Marion was able to submit his two-week notice to Wally World. Last week, local media, loved ones and veterans gathered in the store’s parking lot to watch McCarty award Marion enough money for him to never need to clock in again.
“Butch wanted me to thank every one of you out there that contributed to this miracle that you gave him. ‘Thank you from the bottom of my heart,’ he said,” McCarty captioned a TikTok of the ceremony.
“I feel like a new man,” Marion told FOX 5. “This is just unreal.”
He said the money will help pay off bills, allow him to relax and let him spend three weeks with his daughters and grandchildren in Florida. He said he hasn’t hugged them in years.
“Bird out of a cage,” Marion added.
Meanwhile, in November, a TikToker raised more than $170,000 for an elderly Walmart employee.