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Journalist Karen Swensen helps raise $200K for 90-year-old vet

A former Louisiana news anchor helped raise more than $220,000 on Memorial Day for a 90-year-old military veteran who makes a living pushing a shopping cart in sweltering heat at a local supermarket.

When journalist Karen Swensen saw Dillon McCormick working in 90-degree heat at a Winn-Dixie store in New Orleans, she couldn’t believe her eyes and immediately struck up a conversation with him, who explained that he needed the labor-intensive job to make a living.

The U.S. Air Force veteran doesn’t drive, so he walks more than a mile to work.

Swensen, who previously worked at WWL-TV in the Big Easy, launched a fundraising effort that was an instant success.

Dillon McCormick pushes a shopping cart for a living. Youtube / Karen Swensen

“McCormick says he works to eat. He says he needs $2,500 a month to get by but only receives $1,100 from Social Security,” Swensen wrote on the fundraising page. “So he has to push his cart through triple-digit temperatures just to make ends meet.”

A GoFundMe was started earlier this week and has attracted thousands of donors, raising a staggering $222,410 as of Wednesday night.

Swensen’s friend, “Today” co-host Hoda Kotb, also shared about the fundraiser on her Instagram page.

Swensen, who now owns the business, told The Post on Wednesday night that she was “touched” by the generosity of strangers.

And when Swensen told McCormick how much they’d raised, he, too, was shocked.

“I think it’s great,” he said. An Instagram video posted online by Swensen. “At my age, that might be a miracle.”

A former New Orleans news anchor is spearheading the fundraising effort. X/@karenswensen

McCormick, who does not have an email address, was also skeptical of the news and wary of handing over financial information needed to raise the money, so Swensen said he returned to the scene Wednesday with Jefferson County Sheriff Joseph Lopinto III to allay concerns about fraud.

The funds are expected to be transferred to him within the next few days, she said.

In an update to her GoFundMe page, Swensen said the money raised is enough for her to quit her job and live comfortably.

The 90-year-old veterinarian was shocked by the generosity. Youtube / Karen Swensen

“If he chooses to continue working, that is his choice,” she said.

Swensen told The Post she was touched by how quickly people stepped up to help and it left her feeling hopeful and grateful.

“I was absolutely shaken,” she said of hearing that McCormick had been forced to go back to work at the grocery store, “but I was just as shocked by the response afterwards. It was just a restoration of faith in humanity.”

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