People have raised over $270,000 via a GoFundMe campaign for a Burger King veteran after he displayed the meager goodie bag he received in recognition of his 27 years of service of never missing a day of work.
A viral video, which turned Kevin Ford, 54, into an overnight star on Instagram, showed the content of the bag to include a “reusable Starbucks cup, one singular movie ticket, a couple of pens, a lanyard, some keychains and candy. “
Nonetheless, Ford was thankful to his employers for the gesture. “I’m happy about anything, I’m thankful for anything I get,” Ford told TMZ, “but, like most big corporations, they’ve kind of lost touch with their workers.”
After the video went viral, Seryna Ford, his daughter, opened a GoFundMe for him and people have so far contributed over $270,000 for him, largely to celebrate him for his commitment to service.
Appearing on TODAY FOOD, Ford said he was overwhelmed by the show of support and love extended to him all over the world. “It’s like a dream, a dream come true, that nobody can think of this. It’s just overwhelming,” he said on the show. “Especially all of the support I’m receiving every day. It’s awesome.”
According to TODAY, one of the over 6,000 donors was comedian David Spade, who gave $5,000 to GoFundMe. Ford said he has reached out to Spade to thank him for his donation.
Meanwhile, HMSHost, the food service company Ford works for Burger King through, has issued a statement saying that the goodie bag Ford received was something “we call a Shout Out, which is recognition and appreciation from his peers.”
The statement further added: “HMSHost is pleased that its award-winning ‘Shout Out’ employee recognition program was used to celebrate one of our long-tenured and dedicated associates, Kevin Ford, for his teamwork and great attitude. These ‘Shout Outs’ reflect our core values and dedication to guest service and offer our employees a way to celebrate each other every day.
“The ‘Shout Out’ program differs from HMSHost’s company service anniversary program, which celebrates employee tenure milestones.
“This recognition of Mr Ford by another employee captures the essence of our culture of appreciation, caring and inclusion and reflects the best of our company — our people. Mr Ford is a valued associate and member of an honoured group of employees that have worked for us for many years.”