MATA employee helps elderly coworker with transportation issues

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An 85-year-old man is dedicated to his job, but his transportation there wasn’t reliable, so his coworkers contacted News Channel 3 to see if we could help by passing it on.

Anthony Amos wants to help his coworker John Butler who is a retired city bus driver now mail courier for the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA).

“He’s been helping countless Memphians either get to work at their jobs, or either get to the hospital or places like that. So, I think for an individual and his circumstances at 85 years old, needing assistance to get his car fixed, I think this would be right along his alley,” Amos said.

Amos gave him a call so they could meet up. When Butler arrived, his friend explained why we were there.

“You doing all right? I’m doing great for an old man. What’s up what’s all this? “I brought you here.. I called News Channel 3 a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “I said you know what, Mr. Butler has helped so many people get from Point A to Point B, let us try to do the same to help him.”

Butler received a total of $1,000 from News Channel 3 and our anonymous donor.

“It’s going to help me catch up with some bills I got to pay. I still need some work on the van. I’m going to get that fixed,” Butler said.

Mr. Butler started at MATA in 1968, the year Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis. He retired from driving city buses in 1998 but years later returned to MATA part time.

“It was kind of tense that day. I know the sky was kind of a dark that day, when he got killed. As a matter of fact, I think I even marched during the time that he had his march during that year and marched with the people,” he said.

Butler is loved for the wealth of knowledge and wisdom he brings to their workplace.

“We did all this because we appreciate everything you’ve done for us and hope that this can do something to help you and your journey to get your vehicle fixed,” Amos said.

He remained a dedicated full time employee for 30 years and thanks to Pass It On, he is able to continue part time with reliable transportation.

“As long as the good Lord gives me the motivation of my arms and limbs to work I’m going to be working. I’m not going to retire,” Butler said.

MATA is such a big part of Mr. Butler’s life. The day we surprised him, he wasn’t on the clock but he showed up wearing a matching MATA t-shirt and hat. His co-workers say he’s always going the extra mile for the agency.

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