In October 2021, the residents of Tappahannock, Virginia came together to help a member of the community, exemplifying what it means to be a genuine and compassionate person. Some of them had been regulars at a nearby fast food restaurant and were used to seeing one of the top employees there almost every day. Lisa Bateman, a self-service worker, was always ready to work with a smile on her face and a friendly hello for each of her customers.
The neighborhood loved and admired Bateman for making an everyday experience spectacular by always remembering her customers and her requests. Just by hearing her voices over the drive-thru intercom, she was able to identify them.
Two regulars at the fast-food restaurant who had grown accustomed to seeing Bateman and had always liked her company, if only briefly, were Jason Cunningham and Jaki Vazquez. They knew they wanted to do something special to express how much they loved the 60-year-old when they learned she walked a mile to work every day on Tappahannock Boulevard.
The neighborhood created a GoFundMe page for Bateman in hopes they could raise enough money to support her and make sure she never had to walk to work through unpredictable weather again. The older employee began to cry when she realized how shocked she had been. She continues reading to learn more about this moving story.
Customers at Tappahannock Burger King were used to seeing Bateman working the drive-thru window with a constant smile on her face. Cunningham told WTVR, “You stop by the drive-thru anytime and she’s just as nice.”
According to WTVR, Bateman has been a fast food employee since 1987, and she reportedly enjoys her profession. But for seven years, she had to travel a mile to get to work. After being laid off from a second job, Bateman lost her car, but she never lost her optimistic outlook.
I see her walking often, so I thought it would be nice to do something like this for someone in our neighborhood, Cunningham said.
The neighborhood set up a GoFundMe page for Bateman and gave him just over $4,200. In less than two weeks, 135 people donated, according to WTVR. The funds were used to purchase a new vehicle for Bateman, and the neighborhood made sure to give him spare change to help cover the cost of vehicle insurance.
After Bateman’s shift one day in October 2021, she was given a low mileage maroon 2007 Buick.
Handing Bateman the keys to her new car, Vazquez said, “We as the town of Tappahannock wanted to give you a little thank you for her hard work, for always bringing us positive energy.”
Immediately, Bateman was overwhelmed with grief and sobbed, “Oh my God! Thank you very much! It was a moving exchange between the employee and her devoted customers. In less than two weeks, a small community was able to raise all this money, according to Vázquez. “It just shows that she is valued.”