Organiser of retiring man’s GoFundMe reveals sad personal news

A woman who helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for an elderly colleague given a measly certificate and barbecue for his retirement now fears she may face the sack.

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Soniah, who last week revealed John Bartlett received a sub-par send-off despite working his “minimum wage” job at the same company for 42 years, updated donors this week about her personal woes.

Having gained international attention with her campaign for Mr Bartlett – raising him almost $60,000 – she is now nervous her employer might terminate her employment.

In response to a comment on TikTok asking how the public could support her in the same way she had supported her hardworking co-worker, she asked for one thing.

“If there’s one thing that I could ask for, if I do get fired, please book me,” she told viewers.

“I do own a small business which I barely get bookings for so it would be nice if I could work for my money rather than getting handouts.”

Her business, based in Northern California, operates as a mobile cocktail making service that sets up a pop-up bar for local events and parties.

“If you guys want to hire me … I have a team so we’ll come and rock your party and I’ll work for my money,” she said, flashing a screenshot of the Bay Area Mobile Mixology Instagram page.

Soniah was flooded with comments from people vowing to support if she ended up getting let go.

Sad plea after man's retirement

“We got you if they think of firing you,” one comment read.

“You better NOT get fired,” another person wrote.

There is no suggestion the company is considering firing Soniah.

Earlier this week she revealed Mr Bartlett’s incredible change in luck after the GoFundMe account she established for him was flooded with donations and messages from all over the world, including Australia.

The fundraiser was shut down after more than 1900 people contributed to Mr Bartlett’s fund, which ended up amassing A$57,454.

Mr Bartlett, in his 70s, appeared speechless when Sonia broke the incredible news to him.

“You have inspired the world with your story, you are so inspiring. There’s so many people who related to you, so many people from Australia, the UK, Scotland – all over the world,” Sonia told him.

All he could do was smile and nod as she told him how his story had resonated with her audience.

“They [the donors] left messages for you, so I’m going to print it out and go ahead and make something nice for you so you can read it on your own time,” she said.

“We started the GoFundMe because they wanted to give you something for your retirement on their part and it just blew up overnight.

“You deserve it, OK? I’m going to make sure everything goes to your account, just for you.”

Mr Bartlett was shown smiling in a photo with a man, speculated to be his brother, who held a printed copy of the GoFundMe fundraising page.

Supporters, in messages left for him on the page, encouraged Mr Bartlett to use the money on treating himself to something special like a big holiday.

“Hey John, go and relax my friend. Take a trip to Disneyland or hang with your nephew,” one donor wrote.

“John, have a fantastic retirement. ‘Do not go gently into that good night’. From Sydney Australia,” another said.

Sonia thanked donors and assured them that every cent would be going directly into Mr Bartlett’s pocket.

“Hello donors! Today is the day we will get these funds over to John! Thank you for being so kind to our fellow co worker and sending him so much love for his retirement,” she wrote in her final update to the GoFundMe account.

“I will guarantee you that he will receive every single penny. Nothing is going to myself. I actually would rather celebrate all of you. YOU did the work, I am just the messenger! Best wishes to all of you.”

In her latest video, she displayed an email she and Mr Bartlett received from GoFundMe which informed her the money would soon be on its way.

“John your donations will be sent out tomorrow and arrive to you in 2-5 business days. Though usually it arrives on the earlier side of that timeline,” an email from a VIP experience specialist named Brittney read.

“I encourage you to let your bank know that the transfer is on its way as that can sometimes speed up the review that takes place on their end.”

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