Customers at a Burger King in Tappahannock, Virginia had grown accustomed to seeing a smiling face at the drive-thru window each day. Angela Bateman had been working at the fast-food restaurant since 1987, and although she had to walk one mile to get there every day for seven years, she never lost her positive attitude. Despite losing her car after being laid off from a second job, Bateman continued to serve customers with a cheerful demeanor.

One regular customer, Candy Cunningham, decided to do something to show Bateman how much she was appreciated. Cunningham started a GoFundMe campaign for Bateman, and in less than two weeks, 135 people had donated over $4,200 to help buy her a car. The community purchased a low-mileage maroon 2007 Buick and surprised Bateman with it after her shift one day in October 2021.

As Bateman stepped outside the restaurant, she was met with a crowd of people cheering and holding signs that read, “We love you, Angela!” and “Thank you for your service.” Touched by the gesture, Bateman cried tears of joy as she was handed the keys to her new car.

The community had come together to show their appreciation for a woman who had worked tirelessly for years. “We as a town of Tappahannock wanted to show you a little bit of appreciation for your hard work, for always giving us positive energy,” said Vazquez, who handed Bateman the keys to her new car. “It just shows she is appreciated.”

Bateman’s story serves as a reminder that small acts of kindness can go a long way in making someone’s day a little brighter. Cunningham and the Tappahannock community saw an opportunity to give back to someone who had given so much to them, and their generosity will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on Bateman.

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