A woman in Reading, Ohio, who abruptly realized she forgot her wallet after ordering her food at McDonald’s was so thankful to the employee who paid for her meal that she shared a tribute to him on Facebook — and now it’s gone viral.
Friday was a hard day at work in the horse stables for Aundrea Duncan, as she described in a post about her memorable trip to the fast food chain.
“I ordered my food but realized as I got to the window to pay, I had left my wallet at work,” Duncan said.
So she asked the “handsome young man” at the counter to please cancel her order. But that young man, Jeremiah McDonald-Hemphill, was having none of it.
“His response was ‘It’s OK, ma’m, I got you,’” Duncan said. “He then took his wallet out and paid for my meal.”
Duncan was shocked.
“What an amazing young man!” she said. “We hear so much about what’s wrong with the world. I had to share a little of what is right.”
The photo that is beside Duncan’s post shows McDonald-Hemphill flashing a broad smile.
“I asked him if I could hug him and told him to keep being who he is because he is an amazing person,” she wrote. “He didn’t know how tired I was or that I hadn’t eaten or even if he would be repaid, but he didn’t even bat an eye and just acted.”
Duncan said she took a few days to post the public thank you out of appreciation for Hemphill. “I wanted his permission and I wanted to repay him for his kindness,” she wrote.
Hundreds of people have thanked the boy, and thousands have shared Duncan’s post.
“Young people like this gentleman give us hope for the future,” read one comment.
“What an awesome young man, his mom would be proud,” added another.
Sure enough, his mom replied.
“Thank each and everyone of you for the kind words in regards to my son,” wrote Donna McDonald. “To God be the glory.” Even the boy’s aunt weighed in on the Facebook love fest. “Very proud of my nephew!!! Love you,” Marina Sanford Dozier wrote.
Duncan told sources she went back to McDonald’s on Saturday to pay McDonald-Hemphill back — and to give him a huge hug.
“I told him that he is one in a million and to keep being him,” she said. “And that if he hadn’t done that I probably would have just gone home and went to bed without eating. Before I left he gave me another hug!” She said he even reached out to her when the viral Facebook post made its way to him.
Duncan said she made the post public not only so the message of his kindness would spread far and wide, but so McDonald’s might give him some sort of recognition. “His mom also reached out thanking me,” Duncan said, “which was nice because as a mom of two young men I wanted her to know what he did for me and that she is doing something right. As moms we all need to hear that.”