A Burger King employee who never missed work in 27 years has received more than $300,000 in donations after a viral video showed his job only gave him a bag of small gifts as a reward.
Kevin Ford, 54, has worked as cashier and cook at a Las Vegas Burger King since 1995. His managers decided to thank him for his dedication to the company on his 27th work anniversary by giving him a bag of items, which included a movie ticket, a Starbucks cup and candy.
A video of him gratefully accepting the gifts and thanking his coworkers soon went viral on multiple platforms. Many social media users were upset at what they felt was as a minimal reward.
Ford’s daughter then created a GoFundMe page for her dad, so he could receive a bigger reward for his nearly three decades of work at the burger chain. She had originally set the target goal at $200, but the campaign has raised more than $328,000 as of July 4.
“The man in that video is my father. He has worked at his job for 27 years and yes, he has never missed a day of work. He originally began working at this job as a single father when he gained custody of me and my older sister 27 years ago. Then as our family grew and he remarried, he continued to work there because of the amazing health insurance that was provided through this employer because it was unionized,” Ford’s daughter, Seryna, wrote on the donation page.
“My dad continues to work there, because though he does look young, he is coming up on retirement age and leaving would cost him his retirement,” she continued. “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.”
Ford’s wish to visit his grandchildren came true when he was flown out to New York City on Tuesday for a TV interview. He was reunited with his grandchildren live on-air after not seeing them in more than four years.
“I’ve been crying for all these days as it is and of course I’m crying live on TV again seeing my grandbabies,” he said in the interview.
The nearly 11,000 donations on the GoFundMe include one from actor David Spade, who gave $5,000. Spade also sent Ford a personal message on Instagram.
Ford explained that he has not made any plans for how he will use his new fortune.
“You never know. It’s day to day, but I haven’t thought of anything to do with that money except to visit my grandkids for a while and maybe put some up for their college, but I’m not even thinking about that,” he said in the TV interview. “I’m just working.”