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Beloved Florida fast-food worker gifted $6K tip ahead of the holidays

'Taco Bell Joe' has put a smile on customers faces for nearly 20 years. Now, it's his turn to grin from ear to ear.
Credit: Tricia Phillippi

SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. — All it took was four days for a Central Florida community to raise more than $6,000 for a beloved fast-food worker.

"Taco Bell Joe," as he is affectionately called by those close to him, has been a bright spot for those visiting his South Daytona drive-thru. Joe has been working for Taco Bell for nearly 20 years and is said to make his customers feel like they've made a friend.

"He is selfless, gives to others, and is the absolute sweetest man," Tricia Phillippi said.

Phillippi created the foodie review Facebook group responsible for kick-starting the kind act and says the experience is something she won't soon forget.

"This was and will be [one] of the most amazing experiences of my life," she wrote on Facebook after "Taco Bell Joe" was handed the massive check for $6,095.

And Joe, who was overwhelmed by the kindness, would have to agree. “I’m going to do my best to live up to it and light a little candle in every heart of every person that I meet,” he said to WESH-TV

As a year of hardship and loss comes to an end, Phillippi says being able to bring a smile to Joe's face through an act of kindness reminds you what the holiday season is all about.

"I hope the kindness that our community has displayed for Taco Bell Joe warms your heart as much as it does mine and reminds us all what the holiday season is about," she wrote. "This is truly the best thing that I’ve been part of in 2020."

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