TikTok - Phil

akramadinas/TikTok

TikToker delivers fan-sourced gifts to homeless man in wholesome viral video

Phil's tears of joy are an antidote to the overwhelming negativity of 2020.

 

Nahila Bonfiglio

Internet Culture

Published Nov 25, 2020

Most days, our online feeds are so inundated with negativity—between all the racists and Karens of the world—it can be easy to forget all the good the world has to offer. Thankfully, there are still wholesome content creators out there who share kindhearted, uplifting videos for people to enjoy.

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One such creator is TikToker @akramadinas. He’s been sharing clips from his job at the Tower Gas convenience store in Fresno, California, for months now. You may recognize some of his previous viral uploads, where he asks customers questions in exchange for free products. His approach to TikTok is perpetually gratifying, as he gifts food, plays pranks, and generally engages in wholesome interactions with his customers.

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Recently, his videos spotlighting a regular at his location have been getting extra attention. People can’t get enough of Phil, a homeless man who frequents the store. Phil’s charming energy and wholesome reactions earned him a loyal fanbase, many of whom are now gifting him winter clothing and other items.

One of @akramadinas’s earliest videos of Phil shows him gifting Phil warm clothing and $38 in cash donated by altruistic viewers. After browsing the store and gathering $38 worth of groceries, Phil says he’s going to share the goods with his friends. Leaning on both ASL and verbal English to communicate, Phil expresses his deep gratitude for the gift.

All of his videos follow this theme. In follow-up videos, Phil explains that he learned sign language so that he could communicate with a crush when he was a young man. He now uses it habitually to emphasize and supplement his speech.

It’s the videos of Phil opening gifts from fans that are really touching viewers, however. His charming energy and deep gratitude have stolen viewers’ hearts and inspired people to begin sending gifts for @akramadinas to give Phil.

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https://www.tiktok.com/@akramadinas/video/6896604284905868549

Phil has received dozens of gifts from charitable viewers. Each time he opens an Amazon package, he begins by reading any attached message from the sender. Every time, he gives the heartfelt message a grateful kiss before tucking it away in his jacket pocket. According to @akramadinas, he has kept every letter.

Phil’s joy at the kindness of strangers is addictive. Viewers can’t get enough of his wholesome energy. In his most recent upload, @akramadinas gifts Phil with box after box of heartfelt gifts from people touched by his story and attitude.

https://www.tiktok.com/@akramadinas/video/6898848637053324549
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Most people included a few kind words for Phil with their gifts. As before, he reads each one before examining the attached prize, planting a small kiss on the letters before tucking them away. His grateful tears are an antidote to the hellish year that is 2020.

https://www.tiktok.com/@akramadinas/video/6898895709488090373

Phil is far from the only person @akramadinas’s videos have helped. Over the last several months, he’s used his account to spotlight several homeless people in his neighborhood, earning them kind words and often some financial assistance. His videos of Mary helped her pay her electric bills. The videos of Mike earned him similar gifts to Phil’s, along with credits to spend at the store. (@akramadinas did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment regarding his videos of Phil.)

In a year of seemingly endless negativity, @akramadinas’s TikTok page is a wholesome change of pace and a welcome reminder of all the good in the world.

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*First Published: Nov 25, 2020, 10:44 am CST