SEMINOLE, Fla. - A close look at Jan Sullivan's Walmart employee badge reveals a "Safety Pro" pin and a gold star for "Risk control".
"I smiled and said, 'Welcome to Wal-Mart', and I did that from the heart," Sullivan said.
Chosen to brave the front lines of Black Friday last year, Sullivan says a customer pushed her, so she grabbed the woman's arm to keep from falling.
In doing so, Sullivan violated Walmart's no-touching policy and lost her job.
In a statement released to ABC Action News, Walmart claims the incident could've been avoided.
"Based on the information we have, the situation led to a bad experience for our customer and it could've been avoided. We had to make a tough decision, one that we don't take lightly," spokesperson Ashley Hardie wrote. "If this would have been an accident, we would have handled the situation differently as we understand there are circumstances outside our associates' control. We understand this is a difficult situation, and we are glad Ms. Sullivan will be able to move forward."
No husband or kids, Sullivan cries when she talks about the 23 years she worked with her Walmart "family".
"That's all I had," she said. "That and my house."
A house she had to sell after losing her regular paycheck.
When Amy Wetherbee saw the "For Sale" sign go up across the street, she called her husband. She remembers the first time she ever met Sullivan.
"First thing she did was tell me she worked at Wal-Mart," Wetherbee smiled.
Wetherbee created the Jan Sullivan Fund, which has already raised more than $1,000 from strangers across the world.
"I said, 'I'm just overwhelmed that anybody cared that much," Sullivan said.
Donations are pouring in from Germany to Australia, many commenting on the site that they plan to boycott the superstore.
"These are strangers," Wetherbee said. "I don't know them. Jan doesn't know them."
They may be Sullivan's only recourse.
Employment attorney Alfred Roush says she likely can't file for discrimination, but Walmart could face negligence for putting a 73-year-old on security detail.
"Physically you wouldn't want her in front of a stampeding crowd on Black Friday," he said. "I definitely don't want my grandmother in the front."
Despite the rally cries, Sullivan doesn't want her $15 an hour job back. She feels more like the other side of her badge -- rusted and worn out along the edges.
"I would have to make myself smile and that isn't me," she sighed.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Tampa police are looking for two suspects that robbed one man and shot another Saturday night.