In February 2015, Arkansas police officer John Shipman was off-duty early one morning when he saw something unexpected. He noticed a young man walking all by himself along the road’s shoulder at 2:15 in the morning.

 

Mind you, it was 19 degrees and snowing outside.

 

Curious and a tad suspicious, the cop asked the stranger who he was and where he was coming from.

 

But this was just a normal morning for James Taylor, a pharmacy student enrolled at Arkansas State University. Every day, James walked four miles from his job to his off-campus apartment. He was about one mile into the walk home from his late-night shift at McDonald’s when John stopped him.

 

John gave James a ride back to his apartment and learned he didn’t have a car. James walked to work and school every day and night, rain or shine. He and his single mom simply couldn’t afford extra help.

 

The following day, John returned to James’ apartment and handed him $20 for cab fare. Touched by their chance encounter, he also posted about the student’s situation on Facebook.

 

But nothing prepared John or James for what was about to occur on social media. It was so stunning, in fact, that Ellen DeGeneres heard about the pair of unlikely friends and invited them onto her show for an incredible surprise.

 

Watch the video below to meet these two amazing men, and please SHARE their inspiring story with your friends on Facebook!