Growing up, Elizabeth Rizzo’s grandmother always taught her to look for ways to help other people.
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Her grandmother has since passed away, but Elizabeth keeps that advice close to her heart. She was out shopping at a Walmart in Arizona recently when she spotted something that made her pause. Door greeter Carmen Kelly was leaning on a shopping cart with her cane, working hard at age 82.
A quick conversation between the ladies uncovered the truth of why Carmen continues to work into her Golden Years. She owes about $10,000 in medical debt, and on the day they met, she only had about $50 in her bank account.
Elizabeth was appalled and vowed to help Carmen in some way. Since she is active on TikTok and has over 135,000 followers, she decided to ask the public for donations to eliminate Carmen’s debt and set her up to retire sooner rather than later. She made a short video of the hardworking grandma and set up a GoFundMe.
The internet took it from there! Elizabeth’s original video was viewed more than 15 million times. A quick follow-up video got even more attention, and the donations started pouring in.
To date, Elizabeth’s fundraiser has pulled in over $135,000 to help Carmen! She says she was shocked by how generous the public was, but thinks Carmen’s story really tugged the heartstrings of people of all ages. The outpouring of support also reminded her of how good most people are at their core.
“I was surprised at the amount we were able to fundraise,” Elizabeth said. “I was really shocked, but I believe in the goodness of people and I believe if you touch their heart, in some way, they’ll come together.”
Elizabeth lives in the same area as Carmen, and the two have now become good friends. Elizabeth thinks of Carmen as a grandmother; in fact, many people online have “adopted” Carmen as their grandmother, too!
When Elizabeth told Carmen about how much money TikTokers had donated to help her, she couldn’t believe her ears. In the video reveal, she told Carmen, “You’re changing my whole life!”
“There isn’t enough words to tell you how I feel,” she continued. “It isn’t just about me, it’s what the meaning of all this is and I really feel that. It’s about joy.”
Thanks to Elizabeth and her TikTok family, Carmen will finally be able to retire and spend more time with her family. Isn’t it amazing what we can accomplish when we simply pay attention and look for ways to help others? We’re certain Elizabeth’s own grandma would be proud of her.
Share this story to wish Carmen a happy retirement.
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