It has been 27 years that Kevin Ford worked with a Burger King outlet in the US. And when it was his 27th work anniversary, this is what he received as a gesture of appreciation from the company--a movie ticket, a Starbucks cup, and some candy in a plastic backpack.
While Ford did seem happy with the gesture, people on the internet were not. Several people criticised it as lackluster for an employee of almost three decades. A video of the moment shared originally on TikTok, went viral on Twitter, with people reaching out wanting to help the man. That's when his daughter opened a GoFundMe page to help raise money as a special way to celebrate his career milestone.
"He originally began working at this job as a single father when he gain custody of me and my older sister 27 years ago. Then as our family grew and he remarried, he continues to work here because of the amazing health insurance that was provided through this employer because it was unionized," Ford's daughter Seryna wrote on the fundraiser's page. "Which got all four of his daughters through high school and college with full healthcare coverage."
"My dad continues to work here, because though he does look young, he is coming up on retirement age and leaving would cost him his retirement," she added. "In no way are we asking for money or is he expecting any money but if anyone feels like blessing him he would love to visit his grandchildren."
As of Thursday evening, Ford's GoFundMe page had received more than $271,000 (about Rs 2.1 crore) in donations.
Responding to the heartwarming messages and collections, Ford told People, "I just can't believe this. Thank you, thank you everybody. I just want to tell everybody out there, thank you for every cent. Just the thought of watching the video and just having a reason to smile. I want to thank everybody."
He added, "There's been donations from Australia, the UK--all around the world. I just want to say thank you to everybody. It's just a dream come true. It's just a whirlwind of love. Spread the love, cause every day you need it."
The fast food chain told People that the gift in the viral video was a "reward in recognition of a short-term positive performance/experience" and that there is a "robust employee recognition program" for such milestones.