More than $150,000 dollars have been raised for a Georgia 19-year-old who was found sleeping in a tent outside the gates of his college last weekend.
Fred Barley, who is homeless, was discovered by two police officers responding to a trespassing call near a parking lot at Gordon State College in Barnesville. He told the officers he had ridden his little brother's bicycle six hours to register for classes for his second semester of college.
In addition to the bike, Barley had two duffel bags containing all his wordly possessions and two gallons of water. All he had to eat, according to a report by WSB, was a box of cereal.
"After meeting Fred, I could tell he was a good kid,” Gordon State College Police Officer Dicky Carreker told the Barnesville Herald-Gazette. “He was a young kid who had been dealt a bad hand and was trying to make the best out of it. All he wanted was a job."
Carreker and Barnesville Police Officer Maria Gebelein told Barley he couldn't stay in the tent, but they knew someplace he could stay. The officers brought Barley to a nearby motel and paid for two nights accomodation.
"The stuff that’s happening with police officers, I am black and he didn’t care what color I was," Barley told WSB. "He just helped me, and that meant a lot."
The story, however, doesn't end there. After Carreker posted the story on Facebook, members of the community rallied behind Barley. A GoFundMe page on Barley's behalf had raised $150,000 dollars as of Saturday afternoon.
The owner of a local pizzeria hired him as a dishwasher and promised to work around his class scheduled (Barley wants to major in biology). Other residents have donated clothes, food and a new bike.
"I was not expecting any of this support and am in awe of how this community has come together to help me,” Barley told the Herald-Gazette. “I was just trying to go to school, find a job and make it on my own. Now it seems as though I am part of a new community and have a new family."