According to the video posted earlier this month, Ford has worked as a cook and cashier at a Burger King in the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport for 27 years without missing a day.
He received a Starbucks cup, some candy and a single movie ticket in a clear plastic backpack from the burger chain’s parent company HMS Host, to show appreciation for his years of service.
Online, social media users criticized the gift bag as mediocre and not fitting to show appreciation for an employee of almost three decades, according to People.com.
Following the outpouring of support on social media, Ford’s daughter Seryna set up a GoFundMe page to recognize her father’s dedication to his job.
“My name is Seryna. 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,” she wrote. “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. 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 story moved so many people that the fundraiser has exceeded its goal twice. In just seven days, over $202,157 has been raised as of this writing
“I’ve been crying for about two days now. It’s just incredible,” said Ford in a phone interview with NBC’s TODAY. “I just go to work and try to have fun and laugh and make other people’s day good. It’s like I’ve been in a dream for almost two days now. It’s just so beautiful and awesome. It really is.”
Burger King issued a statement to TODAY in response to the criticism stating that the company is committed to recognizing the achievements of its employees and the gift that Mr. Ford received was a “reward in recognition of a short-term positive performance/experience.”
The company also says that it does offer its team members, “a robust employee recognition program, which includes the recognition of tenure milestones and monetary awards.”