One beloved fast food employee is finishing out 2020 with a huge bonus thanks to some supportive members of his community.
The 70-year-old Taco Bell employee received a $6,095 check raised by hundreds of people who fondly refer to him as "Taco Bell Joe.”
Taco Bell Joe, whose real name is Joe DeCicco, was awarded the holiday bonus through a contest where Tricia Phillippi asked locals to “nominate their favorite local food industry worker,” according to CNN.
DeCicco has worked at the Taco Bell drive-through window in South Daytona, Florida for 20 years, and is known for his jubilance and warmth toward customers.
"I had our members nominate their local favorite in the service industry and the person who wins will get a $50 gift card," Phillippi told CNN. She gave DeCicco the check on Dec. 18.
"Within literally five minutes, the first nomination was Taco Bell Joe. Comments kept flooding in on him, calling him a legend, saying how much they love him. So when he won, I decided to let people donate to the holiday cash prize, too."
DeCicco swept the competition, and received not only the original $50 prize from Phillippi, but more than $6,000 in additional donations.
"It's my customers that I owe this to. They bring out the best in me. It's them. I couldn't do it without your help," DeCicco said. "And I'm going to do my best to live up to it, and spark a light, a little candle in every heart of every person that I meet."
More than 300 people donated to the cash prize, many of whom were DeCicco’s former customers recounting their favorite memories going through his drive-through.
"This job has been an enormous blessing to me," DeCicco said. "It has bought out the best in me. I have wonderful customers, they give me strength, they give me wisdom, they give me vitality. And these wonderful people are the true meaning of Christmas."