Raleigh, N.C – After 23 years, a beloved grocer worked his last shift at Glenwood Village Harris Teeter on Tuesday.
When the community found out Tim McCloud was leaving, they decided to hold a fundraiser to show him how much he’d meant to them over the years – and finally brought him back. It’s a life changing gift.
Just about every day for more than two decades, McCloud commuted from Wilson County to Harris Teeter on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.
Officially, he closes grocery bags, but for customers, he does so much more.
Julie Caviness has called McCloud her part-time therapist.
“He’s incredible. He’s legendary here, I don’t think he even knew it, that’s what makes it so beautiful,” Caviness said. “He has no idea how big of an impact he’s had in our community.”
In those years worth of moments at the checkout, she could talk to him about anything – they even cried together,
And he watched her children grow up.
Caviness said many of her friends have similar relationships with him.
But two weeks ago, McCloud told her something she wasn’t prepared for.
“He started talking about an opportunity opening up in Wilson, nine minutes from his house,” Caviness said. “I started crying. I was like ‘you can’t leave me.”
After 23 years, McCloud moved to Harris Teeter closer to home.
“When he told me that, I said ‘how do I help him?’,” Caviness said.
Caviness decided on a fundraiser.
She launched a page on GoFundMe without telling him, with the goal of raising $1000.
The site hit that goal in less than an hour.
“I know he has a fan club, we all talk about Tim and how nice he is. I don’t think I have any clues about his fan club. how big he is,” Cavines said. “So then we hit five. After that, my mom still texts me like she always does, ‘what’s up now?’ Then we hit 10. And I was like, ‘oh wow.’ “
On the night of McCloud’s last shift, GoFundMe raised nearly $23,000. On Wednesday, more than $26,000 was raised.
McCloud doesn’t know.
On Tuesday night, Caviness went shopping on McCloud’s last day of work – and asked him to take her out one last time.
Hundreds of people cheering him on with signs and balloons are waiting for him.
He was subdued with emotion.
And then, the big reveal. They presented McCloud with the results of the GoFundMe.
As the crowd said their goodbyes, McCloud told WRAL News how much this final gift would mean to him.
“It would help me a lot,” McCloud said. “I’m lucky with it, you know.”
McCloud said more than anything he will miss the community he has here in Raleigh.