A simple Facebook post from aspiring country music artist Fordie Hays turned into a Christmas blessing for an elderly Alabama woman who needed help.
Hays, a native of Mississippi, regularly travels through Alabama on his way to and from Nashville and usually stops at Exit 100 on Interstate 20/59 near McCalla to fuel up and visit the McDonald’s there. before continuing on his way.
Hays’ December stop at McDonald’s there would unknowingly change his life and that of Annie Myrick, an 80-year-old McDonald’s cashier who served him.
“Talk about making a grown man tearfully leave Love’s Truck Stop at exit 100 in Alabama,” Hays wrote on his Facebook page. “It’s days like today that I wish I was rich so I could make this woman’s life better. I went to fill up and grab a 10 piece nugget around 1:30 and she messed up (on) the computer and punched the credit card instead of cash. Took her a second to fix it and my meal was $5.78. I gave her back $11. She said that was too much; I said it’s been a long day She said yes and I’ve only just started I’m not coming down until noon tonight I said you’re young you can handle it and she said that i wish my son was almost 80. i said good you rock him and walked out almost in tears. the songwriter in me wanted to know her story, why she was working like this at her age.. .one day when i succeed in music my goal will never be a big house or luxury items it will be to help people like her even though we don’t know her story or her name, say a prayer for that sweet little lady from McDonald’s in Alabama when you go to bed tonight. She really touched my heart today.
Hays said he was moved to do something to help the woman, so he asked his Facebook followers a simple question – “What can we do for this lady?”
The response was immediate and overwhelming. People across the country started commenting and sharing Hays’ post.
“I asked someone to mention a GoFundMe account,” Hays said. “I was hesitant at first, but after some research, I created one.”
Hays’ Facebook followers did not disappoint.
“I set myself a goal of $5,000. I thought whatever wasn’t collected, I could make up the difference and give it to him,” Hays said.
In less than 24 hours, the goal of $5,000 was reached and then doubled. The GoFundMe account is currently at $10,521, well above Hays’ expectations. Hays knows the money will be well spent by Myrick.
“After I posted about wanting to help her, friends and family contacted me and told me she was on dialysis and still working,” Hays said.
Hays also learned that Myrick was in desperate need of tires for her car and was driving dangerous tires after two of her tires blew out.
Hay’s was able to contact Myrick by telephone.
“She kept thanking me,” Hays said. “She reminds me of my grandmother.
“I plan to leave GoFundMe until after the first of the year. GoFundMe even contacted me and asked me to leave because of the incredible response,” Hays said. “I plan to take a trip back to McDonald’s to give him the money in person,” Hays said.
Donations can still be made to the GoFundMe account for Myrick at https://www.gofundme.com/f/mcdonalds-annie-myrick.
Fordie Hays can be found on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Fordie-Hays-Official.