A heartbreaking video showing an elderly McDonald's worker struggling to clean the car park in hot temperatures was quick to go viral on TikTok and a fundraiser for his retirement was swiftly set up.
The video has now had more than 2.2m views, posted by @KandyKaine22:
The senior citizen was captured on camera working hard outside the fast-food restaurant in Connecticut as younger colleagues stayed inside.
The TikTok user then set up a GoFundMe page for the worker, who gave his name as Gregorio, she raised more than $40,000 to help him retire.
"I'm at the McDonald's in Bloomfield, Connecticut," she says on the video, "A young man took my order and my payment. A young woman served my food. Another young woman came outside to serve people that were doing pickup. I go to my car, and I see this man, outside, in this weather sweeping this parking, while these 3 inside, in the AC."
"This man has no water, no food, no one is out here watching him. He's obviously elderly; he's at least 70 years old. He can't stand up straight. He's struggling. You're telling me people can't have considered and helped this man? He deserves a f***ing raise; he deserves a gold medal," she said.
She then sat down with Gregorio and a relative and he thanked people in Spanish for their heartwarming support:
Social media users were quick to give their undivided support to Gregario, who lost his wife to COVID-19 last year.
"This is the world that we live in where elderly ppl like him have to work bc they probably don't make enough from retirement to survive," wrote one concerned user.
Another wrote: "He should be inside, not out in the heat like that; that is just wrong on so many levels."
But more recently, the TikToker who uploaded the original video and set up the GoFundMe has been accused of taking the money by followers:
"Due to you guys repeatedly reporting the GoFundMe and calling us liars and thieves, and the additional stress you guys have put on Gregorio, the GoFundMe has been shut down," she posted on her TikTok page.
"To all the people that donated, and funds that have been raised, the family is very thankful Gregorio can't say thank you enough." She later explained the funds raised were deposited to one of Gregorio's close family members.
We hope the fund will help the elderly man enjoy a comfortable and happy retirement!