Customers Chip In to Send Favorite Tim Hortons Worker Back to College: ‘He Makes Your Day’

January 15, 2021 Updated: January 24, 2021

When a drive-thru employee with an infectious positive persona was forced to drop out of college, customers rallied to his aid, raising enough funds to send him back to school to finish his degree.

Vishnu Gopansothilingan, an employee at Tim Hortons at Sobeys plaza, in Ontario, Canada, was blown away by his beloved customers’ generosity.

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Vishnu Gopansothilingan, a Tim Hortons employee. (Courtesy of Nicolle Kopping-Pavars)

“He makes your day,” Tim Hortons drive-thru customer Matthew Shulman told CBC Radio-Canada. “This guy, he fist-bumps you, he gives you weather reports. Everybody in the community thinks they’re special and he only does it with them, but it turns out he’s doing it with everybody.”

Shulman started a GoFundMe campaign after learning that Gopansothilingan had dropped out of his IT program at York University due to financial hardship.

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Vishnu Gopansothilingan at the Tim Hortons drive-thru in Vaughan, Ontario. (Courtesy of Matthew Shulman)

Describing the cheerful employee as “a ray of sunshine” during uncertain times, Shulman implored the Vaughan community to “do something life changing.”

“Many of us are much more fortunate financially then [sic] he is,” Shulman wrote. “I am asking that anyone [whose] lives he has impacted in a positive way, like mine and my children’s … we do something to give back to someone who gives to us daily.”

To date, Shulman’s fund has raised $29,000 from 722 donors, almost three times its original goal.

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Vishnu Gopansothilingan thanking Tim Hortons customers for supporting him on Dec. 24, 2020. (Courtesy of Nicolle Kopping-Pavars)

On Dec. 24, 2020, Shulman presented Gopansothilingan with the money outside Tim Hortons. The humble employee brought donuts for everyone, later telling CBC, “It’s amazing how people appreciate the small things that I do…I love people. This is who I am, giving back and making people smile.”

Another of Gopansothilingan’s champions, barrister and solicitor Nicolle Kopping-Pavars, shared footage of the check presentation on her personal Facebook page, captioned, “I’m more inspired and humbled than ever before.”

Speaking to The Epoch Times via email, Kopping-Pavars, who began the Vishnu Chronicles on her Facebook page last year—as she was so inspired by all the small conversation they had—elaborated. “Life has changed … it took [Gopansothilingan] a while to adjust to this newfound fame. He is such a humble guy and still can’t believe that this all happened.”

The returning college student would like to use the money to give back to the community, helping kids and families learn how to be “independent and sustainable,” Kopping-Pavars revealed. Once a bodybuilder and fitness trainer, Gopansothilingan also has ambitions to use his skills to help keep kids off the streets and learn how to live independent, clean lives.

“For him it’s about creating hope and opportunities,” she added. “He truly is a phenomenal human being with a heart of gold.”

Watch the video:

(Courtesy of Nicolle Kopping-Pavars)

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