There wasn’t a dry eye in sight when a company founder gave his employees the surprise of a lifetime this week.

Mark Baiada, the chairman and founder of Bayada Home Health Care, a $1.4 billion private housing company in Philadelphia, announced his grand surprise over a holiday luncheon at the Belleve Hotel in Philadelphia earlier this week.

“I’m taking $20 million, dividing it up and giving it to everybody,” Baiada tearfully told the crowd. I wanted to show some gratitude to everybody for all the hard work you’ve done taking care of our clients.”

The money was given to the staff of 32,000 who received varying sums based on their length of employment. Long-time staffers were given tens of thousands of dollars and new hires received $50. Even retirees who left the company after 2010 received sums, Baiada reported to Yahoo Lifestyle.

“Those are everyday people who work hard in a low-margin service business — I’m honored to work with them,” Baiada told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I don’t go to patient’s homes much, but my employees are there everyday.”

Baiada founded the company in 1975 and in 2016 announced plans to convert his business into a nonprofit, which will open in January. “Nonprofits last longer and I don’t really need the money, so we’re going to turn it over to a newly created nonprofit that’s all mission-driven,”  Baiada told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re putting mission over money.”

Some employees already have plans for their munificence.

Nicole Green, a pediatric nurse who works with clients such as those with cerebral palsy and premature babies only worked at Bayada for three years and will use her funds toward her daughter’s college tuition.

“Everyone was in awe — we thought we were just having a holiday lunch,” Green, 48, told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Mark totally surprised us. He didn’t have to do this. I’ve only worked at Bayada a short time, but I’m a lifelong employee now.”

Baiada continued to cry tears of joy that afternoon and expressed his opinion on gratitude. “I just want to say thank you to them all,” Baiada told CBS Philly. “Thanksgiving is a season of gratitude. You look around your life and say, ‘I’m so fortunate.”





Chiara Elena will plan to graduate in May 2019 with a B.S. in English: Journalism and minors in writing and biblical studies. She has written for Corban University's "Hilltop News" and the Odyssey Online. When she is not writing articles, she adores writing short stories and poetry. She is also working on a novel right now. When not writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, swimming, walks on the beach, adventuring, making music, giving back to special needs children and those experiencing homelessness, and spending time with family and friends.