Last Saturday, Casey Goodman gave her brother an odd gift for his 21st birthday: an envelope with a $10 bill inside.
Their father had given her the bill before he died of esophageal cancer in 2015, and he wanted her to hold on to it so her brother could use the money to buy his first legal drink.
“She just gave it to me in an envelope, and I was kind of confused at first,” Matt Goodman, a Taunton resident, said in an interview. “Then she told me my dad had given her that before he passed away so he could buy me my first beer. It was a pretty emotional night.”
The next morning, Goodman used the money to buy his first drink during breakfast at Morin’s Hometown Bar and Grille in Attleboro: a Bud Light. He ordered a plate of French toast, too.
Later in the afternoon, he posted pictures on Twitter of the $10 bill and his first sip of the beer, writing, “cheers pops havin this one for you.” He said the post instantly gained traction, garnering over 100,000 likes in just over 24 hours. As of Friday afternoon, the tweet had more than 537,000 likes and 26,600 retweets.
“I thought it was pretty cool, and I saw the viral tweet later on,” said Micheala Powell, a waitress at the diner who was working Sunday.
The post caught the attention of Budweiser, the popular beer brand owned by brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, which also makes Bud Light.
“I don’t know if they knew it was a Bud Light in the picture or if they just saw it and wanted to do something nice,” Goodman said. “They ended up [direct messaging] me and they sent eight cases of beer. I was shocked, even when they got here with it. ... It has been so overwhelming.”
He said the company plans to send more products in the coming days. On top of the gift from Budweiser, Goodman said several users on Twitter have been asking for his username on the money-transferring app Venmo so they can buy his next drink.
“I was like no, that’s all right, but once more people were asking, I figured I could make a good cause out of this,” Goodman said.
Goodman is encouraging others to donate to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where he said his father received treatment. He wrote on Twitter, “they did a lot for my dad so that would be much appreciated.”
“It would be awesome if something bigger could come from all of this,” he said.
Melany Duval, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer at Dana-Farber, said in a statement that the organization was “very moved by Matt’s father’s emotional and thoughtful gesture.”
“We were touched when we learned that Matt decided to pay it forward by asking people to make a gift to Dana-Farber in memory of his dad,” she said. “We appreciate these gifts that will help fund cancer care and research at Dana-Farber and many patients like Matt’s father.”