Exhausted 82-Year-Old Continues to Work as She Has Only $50 – So a Customer Raises $130,000 to Help Her Retire

2 min


One elderly woman was facing another decade of work to pay off medical bills until she got over $100,000 from generous community members.

Medical bills are a serious source of stress for many people all over the world, especially in the United States. Medical bills, on top of other financial stressors, mean that retirement is virtually impossible for some people.

Luckily, there are good samaritans out there who are able to help turn a dark future bright.

Why an Elderly Walmart Employee Couldn’t Retire

person swiping a card with a cashierPhoto by Karolina Grabowska
Carmen Kelly clocked into her shift at Walmart with a smile on her face. Certainly, the sales floor was not where she thought she would be spending her twilight years when she moved to sunny Arizona in 2004, but she maintained a good attitude nevertheless.

She thought she might be able to retire, but medical bills piled up and the idea that she could punch out one final time seemed farther and farther away. Little did Carmen know, a guardian angel was just around the corner. The future would be looking a little more relaxing.

Once upon a time, Carmen had enough savings to retire. Then, she experienced a few bouts of bad health, and her dream slipped from her fingers as the money she had saved for retirement was re-allocated to her medical bills. Now she had only $50 in her bank account.

She was working at Walmart when Liz Rizzo saw her. She noticed that Carmen was leaning on a shopping cart. When Liz approached Carmen, she found out that Carmen was disabled and used a cane.

Walmart had a strict no sitting policy, so Carmen didn’t bring her cane onto the floor. Despite the pain and fatigue she felt in her body during her shift, she had a positive outlook and always greeted customers warmly.

Liz felt for the elderly woman and decided to share the story on TikTok.

“When I saw her when I walked in the door, my heart just cracked open. The seniors in our world need to be taken care of because they took care of us.”

She started a GoFundMe and linked to it in the TikTok. She wanted to raise $10,000 to help the woman get a small boost towards her dream of retirement. Instead of a small boost, she got a tsunami of support.

Liz’s TikTok raised over $100,000 — allowing Carmen Kelly to retire right then and there. The older woman was overcome with gratitude.

Liz and Carmen had been strangers, but after witnessing the miraculous generosity of internet strangers, they were bonded for life.

Carmen would finally be able to enjoy her golden years. Liz was able to change an entire family’s life with just a 90-second-clip. People online hailed Liz as a hero and miracle-worker, but she stays humble, crediting the community for Carmen’s amazing new life.

Whatever the case may be, this story is an amazing example of the power of kindness, community, and noticing the suffering around you — and deciding to take action to help.


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