Over $26,000 raised for Harris Teeter employee after emotional sendoff :: WRAL.com

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– After 23 years, a beloved grocery worker worked his last shift at the Glenwood Village Harris Teeter on Tuesday.

When the community found out Tim McCloud was leaving, they decided to hold a fundraiser to show him how much he meant to them over the years – and ended up giving him a life-changing send-off.

Just about every day for more than two decades, McCloud shuttled between Wilson County and Harris Teeter on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.

Officially, he packs the groceries but for his customers, he does much more.

Julie Caviness called McCloud her part-time therapist.

“He’s just amazing. He’s legendary here, I don’t even think he knows it, that’s what makes him so good,” Caviness said. “He has no idea the impact he’s had in our community.”

For years of checkout time, she could talk to him about anything – they even cried together,

And he saw his children grow up.

Caviness said many of his friends had the same kind of relationship with him.

But two weeks ago, McCloud told her something she wasn’t prepared for.

“He started talking about an opportunity that was opening up in Wilson, nine minutes from home,” Caviness said. “I started crying. I was like ‘you can’t leave me.'”

After 23 years, McCloud was being transferred to a Harris Teeter closer to home.

“When he told me that, I said ‘how can I help him?'” Caviness said.

Caviness decided to organize a fundraiser.

She started a page on GoFundMe, without telling him, in a bid to raise $1,000.

The site achieved this goal in less than an hour.

“I knew he had a fan club, we all talk about Tim and how nice he is. I don’t think I have any idea how big his fan club is,” Cavines said. “So we hit five. Then my mum texts me every hour, ‘how does it feel now?’ Then we hit ten. And I was like, ‘oh wow.'”

On the night of McCloud’s last shift, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $23,000. By Wednesday, over $26,000 had been raised.

McCloud had no idea.

On Tuesday night, Caviness went shopping on McCloud’s last day at work – and asked him to drive her home one last time.

Hundreds of cheering people with signs and balloons were waiting for him.

He was overwhelmed with emotion.

And then the big reveal. They presented McCloud with the GoFundMe results.

As the crowd bid farewell, McCloud told WRAL News what this final gift would mean to him.

“It will help me a lot,” McCloud said. “I’m blessed, you know.”

McCloud said more than anything, he was going to miss the community he had here in Raleigh.

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