Christmas came early for one long-time Walmart employee who received a life-changing payment thanks to one customer who was inspired by her story.
Eighty-two-year-old Carmen Kelly caught the eye of shopper Elizabeth Rizzo at an Arizona Walmart earlier this month.
Rizzo first posted a Tiktok talking to and showing Kelly working while using a cane, noting that she wasn’t able to sit during her shift and that she needed to work to pay off medical bills.
“I’m going to make sure this goes viral and get you some help, Carmen. I’m going to try my best,” Rizzo says in the video, which has now been viewed more than 15.2 million times.
Thousands flooded the comment section offering their support for the worker.
“She seems like such a sweet lady with a wonderful spirit,” one user wrote.
Rizzo then launched a GoFundMe to help pay off Kelly’s bills with a hefty goal of $10,000.
By Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser had raised more than $130,000.
Over the weekend, Rizzo shared how successful the GoFundMe had been with Kelly, who was overjoyed and overwhelmed.
“I could never, ever repay you and thank you,” Kelly says. “You’re changing my whole life and I just feel like God sent you to me.”
In a serendipitous turn of events, it was revealed in that TikTok that Rizzo and Kelly are in fact neighbors. The video also explained that Kelly and her family will be using a financial team and advisor to ensure that the funds collected will go into a trust for Kelly, noting that she must claim the funds by April but can begin transferring them at the end of this month.
Rizzo provided viewers with another recent update showing Kelly on the job. She excitedly thanked TikTok and told viewers that people in the store have been coming up and congratulating her.
“The way she keeps looking around because she know she has a job to do! What a hard working, sweet little lady,” one viewer wrote.
It’s not clear if Kelly has been able to put in her notice for retirement yet, but she told Rizzo that she hopes that she will.
Nothing like the goodwill of others to spread a little holiday cheer this season.