Liz Kreutz/ABC News(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — Shortly after midnight on a recent Sunday, Marquis Boston knocked on room 1027 of the Marriott in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, to drop off a roll of toilet paper to a guest.
A few hours earlier, less than a mile away, Hillary Clinton had just finished delivering a rousing speech to a crowd of 2,000 at the state Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner.
Boston didn’t attend (he was napping before his nightshift at the hotel). But, as it turns out, the 34-year-old, Little Rock native who works two jobs, seven days a week, is one of Clinton’s biggest donors.
He budgeted and saved up over the past year, cutting back on things like groceries and haircuts, so he could give $1,000 to her campaign — an amount that places him in an elite group: The top 6 percent of Clinton’s first-quarter donors, alongside recognizable names like Sting, Steven Spielberg and Beyoncé.
“I just had to kind of think of a way to make it happen, and so I just said, ‘Well I need to just start budgeting,’” Boston said in a recent interview with ABC News.
Boston listed his occupation on the campaign donor form as “janitor,” which is the job he used to have at the University of Arkansas. These days, however, he works a day job as a collections agent and a night job at the hotel where he is a switchboard operator and sometimes fills in with housekeeping duties.
Sometime last year, months before Clinton formally launched her campaign, Boston, who’s single, said he decided he wanted to be able to give money should she run. And that’s when he started making little sacrifices.
“I just curtailed some of the stuff on my grocery list, which was kind of junk food — but it’s good junk food,” he explained. “I love Schwan’s Strawberry Shortcakes, and I could just eat a vat of those. They are so good. So, I just cut those out of the budget.”
He didn’t stop there.
“I kind of let my hair grow out a little bit longer than I normally would have, so that was some extra money right there,” he added. “If I could walk as opposed to drive, then I’d walk, ‘cause the library’s like maybe 30 minutes from my house or something like that … and that was a little bit of gas saved.”
Boston, who tracked his weekly finances at home with a pencil and paper, even learned how to change the oil in his car rather than take it into the shop.
The penny pinching paid off.
By the time Clinton announced her candidacy in April, Boston had reached his goal.
“Lo and behold, there that $1,000 was, and I was just like, ‘Oh, freaking gosh,’” he said, “I got to the Internet as fast as I could so that I could donate the money. It was just awesome.”
Boston appears to be an exception to the rule in a campaign era that covets small-dollar, grassroots donations. (The average donation to Clinton’s campaign last quarter was $145 — far less than Boston’s contribution.)
When ABC News caught up with him on a recent nightshift, he explained that he was born and raised in Little Rock, is a longtime Democrat and believes that making a financial contribution was the best way to support Clinton. (He also contributed to President Obama’s campaign during the 2012 election cycle by saving up).
This time, Boston said he’s “saying some prayers” for Clinton and hoping she’s the one who “makes it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
He said he sees his donation as a small way to give back.
“I went without some things that I would have liked to have, but I just felt like she needed it more than I did,” Boston said, “And I didn’t mind sacrificing to give it to her.”
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