The holiday season of giving is in full swing down south where a group of restaurant staffers from Louisiana pitched in to help lift their manager’s spirits.
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After an employee at Ruffino’s on the River in Lafayette had his car stolen recently, his co-workers apparently decided to pool their money to surprise him with a brand new car.
The restaurant’s general manager, Chris Muffoletto, shared the holiday surprise on Facebook, calling it “the most touching thing I’ve experienced in my 30 years in the business.”
“Last week, our long-time employee had his car stolen from the parking lot at Ruffino’s on the River. The staff decided that we had to do something, so we all pitched in and surprised Kea with a replacement,” Muffoletto wrote alongside the touching video.
The staff from the restaurant gathered outside in the parking lot on Monday where they stood waiting for the big moment.
“The whole staff got together and we got you a surprise – it’s just a small surprise,” Muffoletto said to Kea in the video. “Listen we’re family and you’ve been here a long time, worked your butt off, we love you.”
Kea, visibly overcome with emotion after seeing the new silver Chevrolet sedan, placed his head in his hands and gave his boss and co-workers hugs.
Muffoletto gave a special shout-out to Don’s Automotive Group where he said the car was purchased.
“A HUGE shout out to Don’s Wholesale Automotive. They heard what we were trying to do and matched the donations of our staff to put Kea and his young family in a reliable, beautiful car,” he said. “Big thanks to Mr. Don and Dylan for your generosity and spirit of giving. You have customers for life!!!”
Another employee at Ruffino’s Catering, Ruffin Rodrigue, also posted a video of the surprise on Facebook. He called the surprise “one of the most special days in my 20 years in the restaurant business.”
The longtime manager hailed his team’s generosity.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our staff, their big hearts, and our family environment,” he said.
Ruffino’s on the River and Don’s Automotive in Lafayette did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.