The place where people work can be a source of stress for some. After all, keeping up with the demands of work can add pressure to one’s life. However, coming to work on Mondays does not seem to be bad especially when you are blessed with workmates that you can call as your second family. A restaurant employee from Lafayette, Louisiana, knew how blessed he is when he realized that his co-workers are more than just people who shares workload with him.
Kea Senegal, a dishwasher, has been working at Ruffino’s On The River for more than 5 years. To say that he already knows everyone he’s working with is an understatement, after all Kea has already grew to be friends with his co-employees. Thus, it is not surprising to find out that they know what’s happening in one another’s lives.
It is no secret to his co-workers that Kea has been working hard in order to support his growing family. After all, he is a proud father of two wonderful kids- a 4-year-old and a 4-month-old. Thus, Kea is doing everything he could to provide for the needs of his dearly beloved family.
For how many months, Kea had saved up enough money and was able to buy a new car for him and his family. Sadly, while the season of Thanksgiving was approaching, the car he religiously saved enough money for was stolen from the restaurant parking lot.
The general manager of Ruffino’s, Chris Muffoletto, couldn’t help but feel bad for his fellow employee and friend. After all, he has witnessed how Kea worked hard to buy the car that he and his family needs.
“He had saved up for months to buy a car for his family,” Chris Muffoletto explained. “He has a wife and two children – a 4-year-old and a 4-month-old – and when we found out what happened, we didn’t feel like we could let it go.”
In his desire to lift Kea’s spirits up, Manager Chris decided to raise money to get Kea a replacement car. Amazingly, all of his staff decided to help as well and pitched in money as well. Amazingly, everyone was more than happy to help Kea.
“Everyone was 100 percent onboard,” Manager Chris recalled with a smile. “It took three days to raise $2,500. Then, the people at Don’s Wholesale found out what we were doing and matched the funds. Their generosity was instrumental in this – they should get as much credit as anyone.”
And lo and behold, Manager Chris together with the staff of Ruffino’s On The River gathered to surprise Kea with a 2015 Chevy Malibu.
During Kea’s duty, his manager asked him to check something outside. When he rounded the corner toward the parking lot, he was stunned to see his coworkers and friends standing there waiting for him. It was then that his manager informed him about what’s going on. And his reaction upon receiving the overwhelming gift is nothing short of heavenly!
“The whole staff got together and we got you a surprise… it’s just a small surprise,” Manager Chris told the surprised Kea. “We’re family, and you’ve been here a long time, worked your butt off. We love you.”
“It was very special to see him so surprised. Kea has worked here since we opened. He is a very solid employee, well liked and just a great overall guy. It was very nice to be able to give back a little, especially during the Christmas season.” Manager Chris said, proving how Kea deserves their help.
More than the car itself, it is the thought that all of the staff working in the restaurant happily pitched in money for their dear fellow co-employee which makes their story beautiful. After all, a working environment filled with people who simply support each other and help make things happen for one another sure is perfect!
“It’s a great example of the staff and of the entire community,” Manager Chris added. “We just got to it, raised money, and made it happen.”
The touching gesture of kindness Manager Chris and the community of Ruffino’s quickly became viral, after Ruffin Rodrigue, Kea’s employer, shared the video of their beautiful surprise for him on Facebook. In just a short time, the heartwarming video already reached hundred thousands of views.
Along with the now viral video was a heartfelt caption that reads:
“One of the most special days in my 20 years in the restaurant business. Our long time employee Kea had his car stolen last week and was really down. The entire Ruffino’s on the river Steph pitched in to buy am a new car, and here’s to surprise.”
It sure is refreshing to know that in a competitive working environment, there is a place like Ruffino’s where in the employees treat one another as their own. Indeed, there is better environment to work in but in a place that feels like family and home!
Watch the touching video below and see the sentimental reaction of Kea, the hardworking employee who is blessed with the kindest co-workers one could ever ask for!
Video | Ruffin Rodrige