Orin Gilbert Jr. may be 7-Eleven’s biggest fan.
For 30 years, the 95-year-old from Fishersville, Virginia, has been waking up at the break of dawn to help out at his local 7-Eleven. Gilbert keeps track of coffee levels, fixes items on the shelves, and brings a smile to customers — all free of charge.
The only thing he asks for is free bananas and coffee.
“They got behind a couple times, so I said, ‘Well, I’ll start doing it,’ ” Gilbert explained to Staunton News Leader‘s Laura Peters. “I just helped out where I could.”
Inside the convenience store, Gilbert is simply known as “Mr. G.” When he’s not keeping items nice and organized on the shelves, Gilbert typically keeps an eye on the coffee and assembles pizza boxes. All the while, he’ll enjoy sips from his cup of free coffee.
Gilbert is so prolific in his dedication to the store that he comes in six days a week, according to the Staunton News Leader, and only misses Sundays because he goes to church.
“It’s just seeing the people and talking to them,” he told the outlet. “I know a lot about them and what’s going on in their families.”
“You learn a lot about people who come in here, like what their kids have accomplished,” he added.
Interacting with his community is what truly brings joy to Gilbert’s heart, especially after the death of his wife a few years ago.
“He’s just one of the family,” store owner Tim Swortzel told the Staunton News Leader. “He’s just a unique, interesting person.”
“I love this guy,” added customer Rick Sizemore. “He is what we all hope to become. He’s a well-respected community leader.”
Gilbert, who used to work for the U.S. Postal Service, told the newspaper he is looking forward to becoming a centenarian in a little over four years.
According to Harvard Medical School, working past the age of retirement has shown to be linked with better health and longevity.
A 2016 study cited by the university showed that, when compared to people who retired, those who worked past the age of 65 were about three times more likely to be in good health.
They were also found to be about half as likely to develop serious health problems, such as cancer, heart disease, and had a reduced risk of dementia.
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