An 82-year-old Walmart worker, who had just $50 in her bank account and moves around with a cane, was gifted more than $130,000 from kind-hearted strangers.
Carman Kelly, 82, of Arizona, has worked at the Apache Junction Walmart for a little over two years to help fund her hefty medical bills.
‘Well, I was in the emergency room a few times and I ran out of money,’ she told News 12, laughing. ‘My life has been up and down, up and down. They say these are the golden years, but what’s golden about them?’
‘My Walmart money, it helped me pay for food and gas and other things,’ she told Good Morning America (GMA).
Carman’s world got a lot more golden after she met Liz Rizzo, who was shopping at the store and noticed the Walmart greeter was leaning on a shopping cart with a cane in the basket.
‘When I saw her when I walked in the door, my heart just cracked open,’ Liz told the news outlet. ‘The seniors in the world need to be taken care of because they took care of us.’
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Carman Kelly, 82, of Arizona, who uses a cane (pictured in the cart) to get around, has worked at the Apache Junction Walmart for a little over two years to help fund her hefty medical bills
Carman said she needed to work to help pay for her emergency room and medical bill that total around $10,000
She met Liz Rizzo (right) while on shift at Walmart. After finding out the 82-year-old had to work to survive, she started a GoFundMe, which has since raised $133,000
In the TikTok, which has been viewed 15.5million times, Liz asked the friendly Walmart associate if she ‘needed to work here.’
Carman sadly answered: ‘Yeah.’ And when asked why Walmart didn’t provide her with a chair, she told Liz: ‘No need, I have this,’ indicating to her shopping cart.
According to several employees Liz talked to, the company’s policy states employees cannot sit throughout their shifts.
However, Walmart said in a statement to AZ Family that it ‘honors reasonable accommodations’ and has a ‘long history of working with associates with disabilities.’
Liz started a GoFundMe for Carman, setting the goal at $10,000 – the total amount of her medical bills – which they originally thought would never be met. But much to Carman and Liz’s surprise, the fundraiser has raised more than $133,000 in two weeks.
When she started the fundraiser for Carman, she had no idea the older woman had only $50 in her bank account, which she said would ‘last her until next week.’
Now, the $133,000 will go into a trust, according to Liz, to make sure the money goes directly to Carman. The 82-year-old and her family are also working with a financial advisor to help deal with the large sum of money.
Carman is ‘hoping’ to retire after receiving the money, which she is expected to receive before the new year, and called Liz her ‘guardian angel’
Carman is expected to receive the money before the new year.
In an update video, Carman thanked the strangers who helped her and said she ‘hoped’ to retire after using the money to pay off her medical bills.
‘My life is going to change so much,’ Carman told News 12. ‘It is a miracle. I can’t thank you enough,’ she told Liz, who she calls her ‘guardian angel.’
‘I mean, she was a total stranger to me and it’s like God sent her to me. And I really feel that way because she has been absolutely wonderful,’ she told GMA.
‘This will be the golden years for me!’ she told News 12 with a bright smile on her face.
Carman plans on moving out of her current home and going into assisted living to help her when she falls after she receives the money.
As for Liz, she’s still shocked by how far her TikTok reached and is now encouraging others to ‘be kind.’
‘My main purpose in this whole thing is to inspire others to do what I’ve done,’ she told GMA. ‘Just go out and help someone. You don’t have to do a fundraiser. You can do anything.’