Apache Junction Walmart employee gets the best holiday present she could ask for

After a Tik Tok with 82-year-old Carman Kelly went viral, a gofundme has raised over $100,000 to help pay for her medical bills.
Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 9:32 PM MST
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APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- If you’ve been to Walmart recently, you might have noticed one of the employees by the entrance greeting customers and checking receipts. It’s a job that Apache Junction employee Carman Kelly has done for a little over two years now, and she absolutely loves it.

But earlier this week, Kelly’s experience working at Walmart was unlike any previous one, thanks to one customer named Liz Rizzo, who filmed her on TikTok. “May I ask how old you are?” Rizzo asked in her video. “82,” Kelly replied.

At first, when Rizzo told Kelly about the TikTok and trying to help the 82-year-old financially, Carman thought Liz was a fraud. “I thought no, it’s not for real,” Kelly said. So Rizzo set out to change that, one TikTok video at a time. “I started filming; I wasn’t even thinking,” Rizzo said. “I just felt moved.”

The views immediately started to pile up, over 11 million for that first video alone. When asked about Kelly’s situation, Walmart said in a statement to Arizona’s Family that “we honor reasonable accommodations and have a long history of working with associates with disabilities.”

Even standing for hours at a time, there’s no place Kelly would rather be. “The customers, they hug me,” Kelly said. “And they make me feel like I’m so special to them.”

Kelly says she never wants to stop working at Walmart. But in the last year, bills for hospital visits have started to grow. “Baywood Banner hospital, I owe over three thousand,” Kelly said. “I owe Mountain Vista over three thousand.”

So four days ago, Rizzo created a GoFundMe. The goal? Wipe out that debt. “The amount she said was ten thousand,” Rizzo said. “And I said perfect; I think we can do that.” By the end of the first day, that goal was met. By the end of the fourth day? Over $105,000. “Are you serious?!” Kelly asked. “Oh my lord! I can’t believe this. I’m like a millionaire!”

With Kelly’s medical debt soon to be a thing of the past, she no longer has to live alone. She no longer has to worry about falling and not being able to get back up. “Thank you to the people that have done this for me,” Kelly said. “I mean, it couldn’t have come at a better time.”