Waiting in line can sometimes be an incredibly frustrating experience – especially if people show no signs of moving forward. The customers at one particular McDonald’s branch in Australia may have been able to attest to that, as in July 2018 an elderly man was holding things up at the counter. Then, however, a builder decided to step in to deal with the situation.
A resident of Bendigo, Australia, Dave Love is a tradesman. In June 2018, moreover, he became engaged to Melanie Langley, an entrepreneur who runs a Facebook page called Six Figure Collective. And in the month after the couple decided to tie the knot, Dave and Melanie made a seemingly routine trip to McDonald’s.
While waiting at the counter for his order, though, Dave noticed an elderly man to the side of him sorting through loose change in an attempt to pay for his meal. And while this was going on, the senior was holding up the line. Armed with her phone, Melanie filmed what happened next.
From around a corner, Melanie’s footage captures Dave and the old man standing at the counter; the senior is putting his change back into his pocket. One of the cashiers is then heard saying, “That’s gonna weigh you down now!” The gentleman responds, however, by saying, “There’s still some nice people here.”
Then, as Melanie continues to film her partner, the old man moves away from the counter. Dave has pulled out his wallet instead, and after paying for the senior’s order, the tradesman walks over to his new friend and hands him something. “That’s for your next coffee,” Dave says. “Put it in your pocket.”
“Thank you very much,” the elderly man responds. “You’re a gentleman. Thank you.” Dave then offers him a warm pat on the shoulder before walking away, prompting Melanie to ask what had happened. However, her fiancé quickly notices her phone and becomes a little suspicious. “You didn’t film that?” he questions.
After Melanie reassures Dave that she hadn’t in fact captured the whole thing on camera, Dave then explains what he did – although Melanie keeps her phone down at this point. The tradesman says, “I’m just helping the old fella out. He’s down on his last 20 bucks.” He continues, “[The man]’s standing here with a whole heap of change trying to get [his breakfast]. He’s a pensioner, and he’s old.”
And as Melanie listens, Dave reveals what happened next. “So I paid for his meal and gave him $20,” he adds. “It is what it is honey, that’s life.” While the pair wait for their order, Dave also asks Melanie again if she has filmed the good deed.
During that short period, Melanie keeps her phone trained on the elderly man as he tucks into his food. Then, with the couple now ready to leave, she captures Dave walking over to the senior one more time. And after patting Dave on the shoulder, the man says, “Thank you so much, [I] appreciate it.”
Unknown to Dave, though, Melanie uploaded the short clip to her Facebook page later that day. “This man melts my heart,” she wrote in the accompanying post. “I had no idea what he was up to as he ordered his morning coffee, but [I] quickly realized and couldn’t not video this incredible act of kindness.”
“Your true character is revealed when nobody’s watching,” Melanie added. “Oh and you wouldn’t believe it, his surname is LOVE. He bought this old man’s coffee [and] breakfast and gave him $20. Oh and I told him I wasn’t videoing, as he would’ve made me turn it off.”
However, not even Melanie could’ve predicted what happened next, as the video soon went viral. Indeed, the post has earned over 4.2 million views since being uploaded – as well as more than 80,000 likes and close to 60,000 shares. The video also generated more than 17,000 comments on the social media website – most of which praised Dave’s actions.
Then, the following day, the tradesman expanded on why he had felt the need to assist the senior. “When I looked at that man, I saw my dad, who has passed away,” Dave said to the Daily Mail. “I just had to help him.”
“Pensioners need our help,” Dave continued. “I just hope people who see the video remember to do a similar thing in the future. It’s not about me – it is about helping people out. I didn’t do this for attention, but I’m glad it has made people realize how far a little kindness can go.”
Clearly passionate about the subject, the tradesman then reiterated his stance on pensioners, believing that more needs to be done for them in Australia. “These people built our country so we can live the lives we have today – for my generation and the generation after us,” he added. “If I was prime minister tomorrow, I would fix the pension.”
But while the viral video brought Dave and Melanie into the spotlight, there was also another star of the clip: the elderly man himself. His name is Bert, and he’s an octogenarian widower who had just lost his daughter at the time he had met Dave. And, happily, the pensioner has since been gifted a year-long supply of McDonald’s food by the famous chain.
Bert still felt the need to send Dave a personal message of thanks, though, and this in turn prompted his grandson to set up a camera for the purpose. Yet although the video footage itself was kept private, the content of the clip was revealed by the Daily Mail.
Bert reportedly said in the video, “I would like to thank David very much for his kindness shown to me in McDonald’s, where I sit and have breakfast a few times a week. Thank you so much.” That wasn’t the only message Dave would receive, however, since people across the globe would ultimately shower him with words of support.
“Every single one of them is special, and I’ve read them all,” Dave said to Today of the messages he has been sent. “It’s just made me realize how many beautiful people there are in the world.”
Indeed, although we live in very cynical times, an act of kindness can still capture the imagination of the public. And thanks to his partner’s quick thinking, Dave’s generous gesture was ultimately seen worldwide. Plus, whether Dave wants to admit it or not, he may well be a hero to many.