He Hadn't Missed Work in 3 Decades, Gets Big Reward

GoFundMe for Las Vegas Burger King worker Kevin Ford has brought in more than $400K
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2023 10:05 AM CDT
Updated Aug 13, 2023 6:52 AM CDT
He Hadn't Missed Work in Nearly 3 Decades, Gets a Big Reward
The Burger King logo is displayed on a sign outside a restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh on Jan. 12, 2022.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Last June, a worker at a Nevada Burger King became an unexpected star, lauded for the fact that he hadn't missed a scheduled shift in 27 years. Kevin Ford's brush with fame came courtesy of a video he'd posted on TikTok that highlighted his impressive work ethic as a cook and cashier at the BK in Las Vegas' Harry Reid International Airport. It was a clip that soon went viral, partly due to the gift he said he received from the fast-food giant for his 27th anniversary. Ford showed off the modest offering: a plastic goody bag that held some candy, a movie ticket, a reusable Starbucks cup, a couple of pens, two keychains, and a slab of chocolate cake, per Insider.

At the time, he said he appreciated the fact that his employer thought of him. "I'm thankful for anything I get," he told TMZ. Still, he added that it seemed like the gift bag from HMSHost, the firm that does Burger King's hiring, was made up of "stuff ... they had laying around." He added that, pre-COVID, workers would receive checks when their anniversaries rolled around, and that "like most big corporations, they've kind of lost touch with the workers." He also noted that he would love to have some days off. That dream may be coming true sooner rather than later, thanks to a GoFundMe set up by one of his four daughters soon after that TikTok video was released.

"He originally began working at this job as a single father when he gained custody of me and my older sister 27 years ago," Seryna Ford wrote. "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. This got all four of his daughters through high school and college with full healthcare coverage." That crowdfunding effort has since raised more than $406,000, including $5,000 that former SNL star David Spade sent Ford's way.

story continues below

"It's just a dream come true," Ford, now in his mid-50s, told Today in December, when the GoFundMe was at nearly $390,000. "The whole world lifted me up." That clip showed an emotional Ford reuniting with his grandkids after having not seen them for years, and he says he's since gone to visit his family in Texas and even journeyed to Mount Everest, a trip that was gifted to him. He also says that he's so overwhelmed with gratitude that he even sometimes pays for groceries of random strangers at the supermarket, especially single moms. "Every day that I wake up I'm excited," he said. "I'm excited about spreading the love." (More uplifting news stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.