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Online fundraiser surges past $20K for dedicated Avon Chick-fil-A worker seen in viral photo

AVON, Ind. – The fundraiser has gotten an incredible response.

Earlier this week, we shared the story of Jakeem Tyler, a worker at Chick-fil-A in Avon who captured the attention of a customer because he was working in a neck brace and sling.

The customer, Cameron Nelson, was struck by Tyler’s dedication. He took a photo and posted about Tyler on Facebook. His post quickly went viral, with many people impressed by Tyler’s dedication.

Tyler told Nelson that he’d recently been in a car crash and was at work because he needed the money and wanted to raise money to help feed the homeless for Christmas.

Nelson created a GoFundMe page for Tyler and set a modest goal of $2,500. By the second day, people had donated $5,000. By early Thursday morning, people had donated more than $23,000! Most of that money has come in small amounts of $5, $10 and $20. More than 940 people have pitched in.

“He did not want to let his team down by just calling in and not showing up but he also wanted to use the money for Christmas presents and to be able to feed the homeless with it as well,” Nelson told CBS4 earlier this week.

In a statement, Chick-fil-A described Tyler as a “phenomenal young man and an outstanding team member.”

“We are beyond proud of Jakeem and support his efforts to serve the homeless in our community,” Chick-fil-A’s statement said in part. “In regards to the money being donated on his behalf: Jakeem is grateful for the support of the community. How he decides to utilize the money is up to Jakeem and his parents.”