An 85-year-old widower from Lexington, Kentucky, who works as a janitor at a local McDonald’s to raise his two adopted grandsons, received a life-changing gift after a chance meeting. Wendall and Della Gill had been together since their teenage years and were married for 63 years. However, in August 2018, Wendall’s world came crashing down when Della died suddenly from an aneurysm while they were having breakfast at the McDonald’s where Wendall worked.
Despite his devastating loss, Wendall continued to work every day, cleaning the facilities where he had seen his beloved wife take her last breath. He refused to quit because he needed to support his two special needs grandsons, John and Justin, whom he and Della had adopted. Todd Oldfield, a former McDonald’s employee and acquaintance of Wendall’s, heard about his situation and decided to set up a GoFundMe campaign to help him.
Todd was overwhelmed by the response, with donations pouring in from around the world. In the end, they raised over $75,000, which Todd used to pay off Wendall’s debts, including his home and vehicles, and to buy a gravestone for Della. The outpouring of support touched Wendall’s heart, and Todd even organized an “Appreciation Party” in his honor at a nearby church.
Reflecting on the experience, Todd said, “It’s just amazing how people can come together and do things for somebody that they don’t even know.” The generosity and kindness of strangers gave Wendall hope during his darkest moments, and he was grateful for the chance meeting that changed his life.