The customers were sad to see their favorite employee go, but decided to give him the sweetest send-off.

The pandemic changed many things for many people over the past few years. Of the big changes that occurred is a pleasant one: we got to understand and appreciate the amazing contributions of front-line workers: including grocery store and retail workers.

One such worker was recently given a gift that showed just how much his community appreciated him: more than $30,000!

Why One Employee Decided to Leave His Current Job

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Tim has been an employee at a Harris Teeter in his area, working as a bagger for over 20 years. Over the decades, he has made connections and true friendships with many of his customers — including a woman named Julie Caviness.

Julie had been frequenting the Teeter for years, getting to know Tim and eventually becoming close friends. Tim had become like a therapist to Julie, listening to her worries, fears, and wins. Together, they laughed, cried, and prayed.

When Tim told Julie that he was leaving the Teeter for one closer to his house, she was devastated. He brought such a pleasant and happy atmosphere to her local grocery store, she felt that her weekly excursions would never be the same. 

“Tim shows up. He shows up when the CAT bus is running late. He shows up in the rain, the snow and the heat. He shows up with a positive attitude and a warm smile every day,” Julie said.

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Julie was disappointed, but she knew that it was the right decision for him and his lifestyle. He had been commuting 45 minutes each way to get to the Teeter, and his new opportunity was less than 10 minutes from his house.

Julie was sad to see her friend go, but she wanted to leave him with amazing memories of his time at the Teeter. She decided to make a plan: get all of the customers and friends who loved him and create a day of celebration on his last day of work.

She started by setting up a GoFundMe page with the goal to raise $1000. She also asked locals who loved Tim to show up with balloons, kind notes, and giant hugs. Not only did the community show up for Tim, they far exceeded Julie’s expectations. 

How a Community Showed Love to Their Favorite Employee

The first day that Julie’s GoFundMe was set up, the project raised $20,000. By the time Tim received the wonderful gift, the fund was at over $30,000.

On Tim’s last day, many customers and community members who appreciated Tim’s positivity and joyous attitude filled the parking lot to surprise him. Tim couldn’t believe his eyes, and he burst into tears.

Julie approached Tim and let him know that not only had they organized this surprise for him, but they also raised over $30,000 as a parting gift. Tim was already overcome with emotion, but now he was speechless.

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“I mean — it will help me a whole lot. I’m blessed with it, you know,” Tim said.

Tim’s amazing gift came as a surprise to him, but maybe it shouldn’t have. He showed up to work every single day with a positive attitude intent on being a bright light in his customers’ lives.

He never let a bad day or bad luck bring him down and he always had the perfect thing to say when his friends were feeling blue. We should all try to be a bit more like Tim.


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