Willie Ortiz just wants to help homeless cats — now thanks to a whopping $28,000 raised online, he’ll be doing that for a very long time.
“I was praying for some help, and the help came, and I was so glad that it came,” Ortiz tells PEOPLE of the GoFundMe page, which was created 14 months ago with a $5,000 goal.
The 76-year-old retired welder has been feeding Hartford and East Hartford, Connecticut’s stray and feral cats for more than 20 years, he says, clocking 22 miles on his truck each day, buying supplies with his own money to bring to 16 stops along the way, and selling scrap metal to pay for it.
Thanks to exposure in a story by Connecticut’s Hartford Courant, people were inspired to donate to help fund Ortiz’s work — but when the story was shared on Reddit, the Courant reports, it really took things to the next …