It doesn’t matter where you start, or how you start. What matters is that you start, that you finish and if the finish is a worthy goal.
An out pour of donations poured in for a homeless Georgia teen after generous strangers caught word of his relentless pursuit to college.
Fred Barley – a 19-year-old teen from Conyers, Georgia rode his little brother’s bike for 6 hours through the deadly heat to get to Gordon State College in Barnesville. His belongings included two jugs of water and a box of cereal, all of which he stuffed in two duffle bags.
When he arrived, he registered for his classes and decided to pitch a tent in the bushes until classes began in August.
After a long day of job hunting, he returned to his tent to eventually be met with officers outside, demanding that he put his hands up. Apparently, they had gotten a call that an unidentified male was sleeping in a tent in the campus bushes.
When Barley told them his story, they immediately felt compassion and sympathy and wanted to help.
He told them that he didn’t have any where to stay and that he was studying biology at the college in hopes of becoming a doctor.
“We get to talking with him asking where he’s from and he tells us a story of a bike ride from Conyers” Officer Richard Carreker told Fox 5.
They paid for a motel for Barley to stay in for two nights.
“We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay” Barley said the officers told him.
Barley was shocked.
“The stuff that’s happening with police officers, I am black and he didn’t care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot” Barley told WSB-TV.
But Barley’s blessings didn’t stop there.
One of the officer’s wives uploaded the story to a Facebook page, where hundreds of people offered to help. One of those good Samaritans was Casey Blaney.
“People from across the country that I’ve never met just wanted to help so much in my life. I was just so shocked and grateful” Barley said.
Blaney covered the remainder of Barley’s stay” and helped him find a job at DB’s Pizzeria as a dishwasher.
The owner of the pizzeria said she had already heard of Barley’s story and wanted to help. She says that she plans to keep him permanently employed and will later teach him how to prepare the pizza.
“I created a position for him before he walked in my door. I didn’t know his name. I didn’t know the color of his skin. I didn’t care” owner Debbie Adamson said.
“The most shocking part is so many people coming to help a stranger, because honestly in today’s society this sounds like a scam” Barley said.
Blaney even created the Success For Fred Facebook page and a GoFundMe page that exceeded its $150K goal with a whopping $184,266 raised in just five days. He has stated that some of the funds will go towards medical school.
Donations have swarmed in. People have donated clothes, shoes, a new bike, school supplies and some have even covered his medical needs. The school has opened up his dorm early, so he can stay.
“Some of the gifts aren’t as important as the friends I’ve made. More important than everything – the clothes, the shoes – the relationships mean so much more to me” he said.
Barley has been more than grateful and has owed his blessings to God. He’s even promised to update everybody on his grades.
“The Bible says, ‘You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ so I know I can” he said.
Barley’s girlfriend, Shaina Boyd uploaded a video on Facebook of Barley thanking everyone for all that they’ve done.
“I want to show you that all you’ve done for me is not going to waste”.
“I appreciate all of you guys for all you’ve been doing. Even if you stopped today, I promise you, you’ve done enough”.
Watch the video below.