Radio DJ rallies community to help a man he saw walking 6 hours a day to and from work

Veteran Chicago radio personality "Ramblin' Ray" Stevens was driving in his car two weeks ago when he passed Braxton Mayes, 20, several times.

"I was on my way home from work Friday and saw a young man walking down Kirk Road," Stevens later recalled. "I dropped my friend off at the studio I work out of and headed home. This young man was still walking. So I drove around the block and asked him if he needed a ride."

"In our town, we help people out," Stevens said.

After some hesitancy, the young man agreed. During the ride, Stevens learned that every day Mayes walks 12 miles between the west suburban towns of Montgomery and Batavia just to get to work. "It's just one of those things," Mayes told ABC 7. "You gotta do what you gotta do."

Chicago area man's car fixed after having to walk 6 hours a day to and from work

Mayes hits the road walking every morning at 4 am to make it to his 7 am shift on time. Then, after his shift, he walks another three hours home. His long commutes on foot started after his 2006 GMC truck broke down.

The former high school football star says that he had no trouble walking because he was raised with a strong work ethic. "I was struggling to get a job for a good amount of time, and once I finally got a job, I mean, that was my chance, I had to keep it," Mayes said according to FOX 32. "So I had to do whatever I had to do."

Inspired by Mayes' commitment, Stevens put together a social media campaign to help get his car fixed. "Let's help Braxton get his truck fixed! Any other leftover money will go to Chicago area food banks," Stevens wrote on a GoFundMe page.

In just a few days, the campaign raised enough money to get the car fixed. "It brought me to tears," Mayes said. "I didn't know when I would come up with the money to fix it or how many times I would have to walk."

Over the course of two weeks, the campaign has already raised nearly $11,000.

"This guy checks all the boxes," Stevens said, according to People. "He's a good, solid human being. People are having a hard time finding people to work and here's a guy walking three hours one way just because his truck broke down."

A local Ford dealership stepped up and paid for all of the repairs the car needed to get it rolling down the road again, so the money from the GoFundme campaign will go to local food banks.

Now, Mayes should be able to get to work in about 25 minutes.

"The story of Braxton who was walking 3 hours to work one way has come to an end! Thanks to. @friendlyfordroselle for picking up the bill," Stevens wrote on Instagram.

Stevens hopes to take Mayes and his family to dinner in the near future to get to know them a bit better.


Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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via Matt Radick / Flickr

Joe Biden reversed Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military earlier this year, allowing the entire LGBTQ community to serve for the first time.

Anti-gay sentiment in the U.S. military goes as far back as 1778 when Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin was convicted at court-martial on charges of sodomy and perjury. The military would go on to make sodomy a crime in 1920 and worthy of dishonorable discharge.

In 1949 the Department of Defense standardized its anti-LGBT regulations across the military, declaring: "Homosexual personnel, irrespective of sex, should not be permitted to serve in any branch of the Armed Forces in any capacity, and prompt separation of known homosexuals from the Armed Forces is mandatory."

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