February 5, 2015– Traffic Jams. Crowded mass transit. Trains running late. These are just a few of the reasons many employees, justifiably, complain about their commute to and from work. One man who never complains about his commute, and has never missed a day of work in 10 years, is James Robertson. Robertson, a Detroit resident, unlike many of the chronic complainers may have the most valid reason of all to begrudge his walk to work. That is because it is a 21 mile journey. James Robertson has faithfully, in various stages of inclement weather, managed to walk this pilgrimage to the factory where he works full-time since 2005, without missing a day.
While Robertson has often been praised by his employer as a model employee, it wasn’t until earlier this month that his dedication paid off. When the story broke in the Detroit Free Press last week it caught the attention of 19 year old Evan Leedy on Facebook. Leedy was so moved by Robertson, a stranger’s, dedication that he set out to raise enough funds to alleviate his inspiration of this daily journey.
To date, Leedy has raised, over, $150,000 for his mission of rewarding Robertson’s dedication, including several offers from car dealerships for free vehicles for this, previously, unassuming, quiet, picture of hard work and loyalty. While Leedy and Robertson had not had the chance to meet prior to the campaign, the Detroit Free Press did arrange a meeting where Robertson expressed his, overwhelming, gratitude to the benevolent teenager.
James Robertson appears to be a model employee and citizen. The story of Evan Leedy’s mission is, equally, powerful. Perhaps the more gratifying story would have been if Robertson’s employer had been as proactive as Leedy in rewarding the efforts of this unique employee.