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Viral TikTok video helps raise over $130k for 82-year-old Walmart employee who was working on the store floor with a cane in order to pay her bills

December 23, 2022, 11:58 AM UTC
Screengrab from TikTok showing Walmart worker Carmen Kelly
Carmen Kelly had only $50 in her bank account when Elizabeth Rizzo decided to help her.
TikTok: @rustywarrenknockersupgal

The internet has come together to provide life-changing help to an 82-year-old Walmart employee and give her a “miracle” Christmas to remember. 

Carmen Kelly was approached by shopper Elizabeth Rizzo at the store in Arizona, who noticed that she was using a cane and leaning against a shopping cart for support. Concerned for her well-being, Rizzo discovered that Kelly was not allowed to sit down at work, and was struggling to pay her medical bills. 

Keen to help out, Rizzo posted a video of her conversation with Kelly to TikTok and set up a Go Fund Me page in the hopes of raising up to $10,000 so she could retire. 

“I’m going to make sure this goes viral and get you some help, Carmen. I’m going to try my best,” Rizzo said. Little did she know at the time, Kelly only had $50 left in her bank account. 

The efforts of a kind stranger went further than either of them could have ever imagined. Not only did the TikTok video receive millions of views — 15.4 million at the time of writing — but the funds donated amounted to more than 10 times the original goal. So far, over $131,000 has been raised. 

Life-changing kindness

Kelly’s story touched the hearts of people all over the world; “She’s an inspiration and a strong survivor. I’m glad I could help,” wrote one donator. “She seems like such a sweet lady with a wonderful spirit!” another responded on TikTok. 

In another video where Rizzo revealed the news, Kelly was overjoyed: “I could never, ever repay you and thank you,” she said. “You’re changing my whole life and I just feel like God sent you to me.”

As for what the future looks like, Kelly said she wants to continue her job at Walmart for the time being since she loves it so much, although she might cut back on her hours, and she would like to buy a house so she can live closer to her family.

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