When officers in Barnseville, Georgia, received a report of someone camped out at Gordon State College they weren’t expecting what they found. They asked the occupant of the pitched tent to step out and Fred Barley emerged.
The 19-year-old told the officers he had biked 6 hours to the nearby college in the scorching heat in order to register for his second semester. He had put up a tent because he needed somewhere to live until the dorms opened again in August. The officers were shocked by the young man’s story and immediately brought him to a motel and paid for two nights.
“I could tell he was a good kid…who had been dealt a bad hand,” officer Dicky Carreker told the Herald-Gazette.
After hearing Barley’s story, Carreker’s wife posted it on a community Facebook page and soon the community was rallying behind the teen. Not only did the motel owner and a local resident pitch in to pay for a few more nights stay at the motel, the college agreed to let Barley move into the dorms early.
Blaney also got offered a job at a local pizza place and he’s received an outpouring of gifts! He’s gotten a new bike, clothes and over $184,266 in donations. Incredible! Blaney told WSB he’s been humbled by the experience.
“More important than everything—the clothes, the shoes – the relationships mean so much more to me,” Barley said.
Barley told the Herald-Gazette that he was not expecting any of the support he’s received and is in awe of how the community came together to help him. “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.”