Customers fundraise to send Ontario Tim Hortons employee back to school

When customers at a Vaughan, Ont., Tim Hortons found out that their favourite employee, Vishnu Gopansothilingan, had dropped out of university due to financial constraints, they began to fundraise to help send him back to school.

'It's amazing how people appreciate the small things that I do,' says Vishnu Gopansothilingan

A group of customers came together to help send their favourite coffee shop employee back to school

3 years ago
Duration 2:13
A community in Vaughan wanted to acknowledge a special worker that residents see nearly every day when they pick up their coffee. Have a look at what they had in store for their local hero.

Customers at a Vaughan, Ont., coffee shop have raised funds to send their favourite employee back to school.

Vishnu Gopansothilingan greets customers at the Tim Hortons drive-thru at Bathurst and Rutherford with positive energy that brightens everyone's day, said customer Matthew Shulman.

"He makes your day," said Shulman. "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."

Customers start GoFundMe

Gopansothilingan was studying IT at York University, but dropped out due to financial constraints.

When Shulman heard his story, he organized a GoFundMe campaign called "Vishnu The Tim Horton's Happy Fist Bumper!"

"In a time of such uncertainty, [Vishnu] is and always has been a ray of sunshine! I, like many others look forward to my morning coffee, fist bump, huge smile, worldly quotes, weather reviews, silly jokes and the 'have an amazing day,' " wrote Shulman on the GoFundMe site. 

"Vishnu is much more than a guy in a mask working the Tim Hortons drive thru. He is an amazing human being.
AS A COMMUNITY, LET'S SHOW HIM HOW MUCH WE CARE, send him back to school." 

The campaign has so far raised just over $9,300 of its $10,000 goal, with more than 200 people donating. 

"It's amazing how people appreciate the small things that I do," said Gopansothilingan, who gave out doughnuts after Shulman presented him with the money outside the coffee shop.

"I love people. This is who I am, giving back and making people smile."