Derlin Newey is an 89-year-old delivery driver for Papa John’s, a US pizza restaurant franchise.
Newey who works 30 hours a week for Papa John’s in Roy, a city in Weber County, Utah, always greets his customers: “Hello! Are you looking for some pizza?”
The 89-year-old’s enthusiasm for his work was admired by a customer, Carlos Valdez, who on 14 September, shared a clip on video-sharing social network TikTok of Newey delivering a pizza to his home and chatting for several minutes about the neighbourhood.
The video attracted positive comments from Valdez’s 61,000 followers. Some of Valdez’s followers suggested a ‘Venmo challenge’, which allows TikTok users to group together to change someone’s day by giving them a sum of money, which illustrates how social media can actually be used positively.
When a TikTok follower of Valdez suggested the ‘venmo challenge’, Valdez was only too pleased to agree.
“Somebody at that age should not be working that much,” Valdez told NBC affiliate TV station KSL.
Valdez shared a second video in which Newey delivered yet another pizza to his house, and started the ‘Venmo challenge’. A total of US$12,000 was raised for Newey, who lives alone and works at Papa John’s to pay his bills.
Valdez and his wife visited Newey to deliver the US$12,000 cheque.
“How do I ever say thank you?” an emotional Newey said, trying to hold back tears. “I don’t know what to say.”
Valdez is delighted with the idea.
“This couldn’t have gone any better. He needed this,” he told KSL. “I’m just glad we could help him. We just need to treat people with kindness and respect the way he does. He stole our hearts.”
89-year old Derlin Newey started delivering pizzas to make ends meet. He never thought one of his customers would change everything. Here’s our story for @KSL5TV on the delivery he never saw coming. #ksltv #goodnews
— Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) September 23, 2020