One Taco Bell employee scored big this holiday season when hundreds of community members banded together to give him a massive gift.
Joe DeCicco, known to community members as "Taco Bell Joe," has been plucking away at the taco giant for nearly 20 years, CNN reports. At 70 years old, he's been working the drive-through window of a Taco Bell in South Daytona, Florida.
Taco Bell Joe has been known to refer to customers as his friends, remembering guests by name when they come to visit the fast food chain.
DeCicco won by a landslide when local Tricia Phillippi started a contest seeking out nominations for the community's favorite local food industry worker. The nominated worker would then receive a prize.
Usually, Phillippi pays for the contest prize herself, offering up $50 gift cards. But when Taco Bell Joe was nominated, she offered up the chance for community members to donate to the bucket.
"I had our members nominate their local favorite in the service industry and the person who wins will get a $50 gift card," Phillippi said to CNN. "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."
More than 300 people donated to the fundraiser, many contributing their favorite memories of DeCicco as well.
Phillippi was met with tears when she met up with DeCicco on December 18 to give him the check for $6,095.
"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 in a video of the heartwarming moment.
"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," he continued.
He added, "This job has been an enormous blessing to me. It has brought 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."