Burger King viral employee raises over $350,000 and reunites with daughter and grandchildren after four years apart

A Las Vegas restaurant worker who hasn’t missed a day of work in 27 years and shot a video showing the undesirable gift bag he received from his co-workers for his work anniversary is a blessed man. After garnering national attention, his daughter launched a crowdfunding campaign and those who fell in love with the man’s humility and hard work have raised over a quarter of a million dollars.

Kevin Ford is a picture of the American working man who got up every day for almost three decades to earn an honest wage and provide a better life for his children and now grandchildren.

In 1995, as a single father, he began working for HMSHost, a food service company, at the company’s Harry Reid International Airport in the busy city of Nevada. At this job, which paid hourly wages but provided excellent health care, he was able to put his four children through college and build a meager retirement fund.

On the 27th anniversary of his tenure with the company, he received a plastic drawstring bag filled with a movie ticket, a large bag of Reese’s Pieces candy, a plastic Starbucks cup and straw, a lanyard, two ink pens and a couple of key rings, and two rolls of Lifesavers Sweets.

Ford made a video thanking his colleagues and his employer for the gift, but couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that he didn’t receive something more substantial like money or a new car like other colleagues in his union, he said in a later interview with TMZ.

The video went viral and many people shared words of kindness and support for the man’s journey – and major press outlets took notice, further reinforcing the cashier/chef’s story.

The 54-year-old’s daughter, Seryna, started a GoFundMe campaign hoping these supporters could bless her dad with some extra money so her dad could get in touch with his family, namely his grandchildren, whom he has had for over hadn’t seen in four years. And within two weeks, the campaign raised over $359,000.

The original goal was $200, but those who contributed (including former SNL cast member and actor David Spade, who lost $5,000) got that number out of the way a few days after the campaign launched water blasted.

Seryna wrote: “You destroyed the original target, so I increased it! Thanks very much! Thanks very much! Thank you very much.”

Backers have encouraged her not to shut it down and “raise the goal,” she wrote on the page.

On Tuesday, June 28, the man spoke about the effusive support of strangers on the Today show, one of the outlets that spotlighted Ford and his outstanding work ethic and character.

The news program flew him to New York, put him up in a hotel and groomed him for a live interview in the studio. He sat with Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin and spoke about recent events, saying it was “great” but “overwhelming”.

He said: “It’s like a dream come true. It’s overwhelming, especially the support I receive every day. It is great.”

During his interview, he shared how grateful he was to receive donations from other countries like the UK and Australia.

“I’m grateful for everything, for every day that I wake up, that I can go to work, that I can be a good citizen, a good American, and just do my part,” Ford noted.

Little did he know that he would soon be overwhelmed again.

The show’s staff, unbeknownst to him, arranged for his daughter Seryna and their three children to see their patriarch. In tears, he reached out to his grandchildren and said it had been four years since he’d touched his babies.

His daughter, as she sat next to her dad, said it was “a lot to digest” as her dad grinned madly at the kids and joked that his grandson Javon was taller than him.

“It means a lot to us,” Seryna said of the attention her father has received in recent weeks. “My father deserves the world… My father gave me the world and he made me the person I am.”

When asked what he learned from Ford, the grandson said, “Don’t be greedy.”

After the public reunion, the family headed to the Big Apple for a day of fun and fellowship.

He has since returned to Las Vegas, presumably into the same job he has held for 27 years. Job offers have landed on his desk since the news broke, but he turned them down.

It’s that level of loyalty and love that lets the world pour in and transforms his life before everyone’s eyes.

https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/07/06/viral-burger-king-employee-raises-over-350k-reunites-with-grandchildren-after-four-years-apart/ Burger King viral employee raises over $350,000 and reunites with daughter and grandchildren after four years apart

Dustin Huang

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