Canadians love their coffee, especially Tim Horton’s, which serves five million cups every day to the country’s 37 million residents. So when one worker at a Tim Horton’s in Vaughan, Ontario made a cup of coffee even better with his positive attitude and friendly service, customers gave thanks with an extraordinary gesture of kindness.

‘The Tim Horton’s Happy Fist Bumper’

Every day, when customers passed through the Tim Horton’s drive-thru in Vaughan, a suburb of Toronto, employee Vishnu Gopansothilingan would lift their spirits.

“He makes your day,” said customer Matthew Shulman to CBC. “This guy, he fist-bumps you, he gives you weather reports.”

“Everybody in the community thinks they’re special and he only does it with them, but it turns out he’s doing it with everybody.”

Matthew Shuman said of Vishnu Gopansothilingan to CBC

Another customer, Niscolle Kopping-Pavars, told the CBC she loved coming to the drive-thru simply because Gopansothilingan was there.

“I thought he was waiting his entire shift just to see me because she made me feel so special,” she said.

Customers fundraised for him to go back to school

Gopansothilingan was studying IT at York University but dropped out due to financial constraints.

“I had to choose: either it was school or work,” he said. “So I thought let me take some time off and I can continue in the future, but time passed by and you never get financial freedom because it’s always something.”

After hearing about Gopansothilingan’s financial dilemma, Shulman got an idea. He decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to send the beloved fist bumper back to school. The fundraiser was called “Vishnu The Tim Horton’s Happy Fist Bumper!”

“In a time of such uncertainty, he is and always has been a ray of sunshine! I, like many others, look forward to my morning coffee, fist bump, huge smile, worldly quotes, weather reviews, silly jokes, and the ‘have an amazing day,’ Shulman wrote in the GoFundMe description page.

“I am asking that anyone who’s lives he has impacted in a positive way, like mine and my children’s…..we do something to give back to someone who gives to us daily.”

Matthew Shulman wrote in the GoFundMe fundraiser.

“Vishnu is much more than a guy in a mask working the Tim Horton’s drive-thru. He is an amazing human being,” Shulman continued. “AS A COMMUNITY, LET’S SHOW HIM HOW MUCH WE CARE, send him back to school, assist in him buying presents for family etc.”

So far, the fundraiser has more than doubled its $10,000 ($7,840 USD) goal, raising $20,978 ($16,440) from 619 donors.

“It’s amazing how people appreciate the small things that I do,” said Gopansothilingan, who was greeted by a row of clapping fans in the Tim Horton’s parking lot. “I love people. This is who I am, giving back and making people smile.”

Giving thanks to all

Sure, our loved ones enrich our lives and we, hopefully, show thanks to them. But what about everyone else? The bus drivers that take us places. The front-line workers who put their lives on the line for us. The grocery store clerks who bravely deliver an essential service and drive-thru attendants like Gopansothilingan, who make us feel good each and every morning.

We don’t need to give everyone $20,000, but we can show them our appreciation.

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