AVON, Ind. (WISH) — A viral photo showing a Chick-fil-A employee working in a neck brace and sling has captivated thousands of people across social media.
Jakeem Tyler told Indianapolis’ WISH-TV he had no idea a customer took a photo of him and shared his story on Facebook.
Tyler was injured in a car accident two weeks ago, but continued to work. He said he needed the money so he can help give back this Christmas.
“When I came in that day it was just for me, a day to work and share the Gospel and just to spread love around,” said Tyler.
A photo of Tyler working behind the counter with a neck brace and sling has been shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook.
“I just don’t know what to really say right now because I’m just in awe still,” he said. “This was just like some days ago now it’s been blowing up.”
Tyler said he went into work last week for the first time since his car accident.
“When I came in I was still stiff and sore so I didn’t want to call off because I was like well first I want to get money,” he said. “They were telling me, Jakeem like go home we don’t need you here.”
Tyler is big on his faith and needed the money for something so much more. He said it was an encounter with a customer that turned into a blessing.
“This man Cameron comes in, who I never saw in my life, he asked me why I’m working and I was like I’m working to feed the homeless and just to pay bills like a young teen does,” he said.
Tyler said the man wanted to help him.
“So I gave him my contact info and my name and next thing you know the next day it goes on Facebook and it’s very viral,” he said.
The man identified as Cameron Nelson shared Tyler’s story on Facebook and the response has been overwhelming.
“It was amazing to me to give back to people,” he said, “I always had it in my heart to give back to people.”
Tyler said he learned from a very young age from his parents to give back and credits a mission trip for his cause.
“I really renewed my faith in Christ and my heart started to really turn for him and I had a fire burning for him and so all of that has led me to this,” he said.
Tyler has worked at the Avon Chick-fil-A location for about a year and a half. He’s also a student at Avon High School.
The GoFundMe page has raised more than $10,000 as of Tuesday night. Tyler is planning to use the money to help pay for food and clothing for the homeless.