The tables quickly turned for an 89-year-old pizza delivery driver who received a surprise delivery of his own from “regulars” on his route – a $12,000 tip.
Derlin Newey was in disbelief Tuesday morning when the Valdez family knocked on the door of his Utah home. CNN affiliate KSL TV was there to witness the moment.
“How do I ever say thank you? I don’t know what to say,” said Newey as he held back tears of joy.
Newey delivers pizzas for Papa John’s about 30 hours a week. He told KSL that he started the job after realizing he couldn’t live solely on social security.
In addition to being a delivery driver, Newey is also a rising TikTok star thanks to some loyal customers inspired by his kindness.
The Valdez family said they always ask for him when ordering pizza and started recording his deliveries as TikTok videos on their channel @vendingheads.
“It’s insane. Everybody loves him,” said Carlos Valdez. The family claims his signature phrase with each delivery is, “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”
With more than 53,000 followers, they often got comments asking why Newey was delivering pizzas at his age. The family agreed that he shouldn’t have to work so much and decided to use their platform for some good.
They asked their followers to make a donation to help Newey, and the money started rolling in. They were quickly able to raise $12,000. They presented a signed check to him as from his “TikTok Family.”
Newey was completely caught off guard. He didn’t even know what TikTok was but was grateful for the unexpected blessing.
“I don’t know what to say, except thank you,” said Newey.
The Valdez family told KSL that the surprise couldn’t have gone any better.
“He needed this. I’m just glad we could help him,” said Valdez. “We just need to treat people with kindness and respect the way he does. He stole our hearts.”
And if the cash wasn’t enough, the family sweetened the surprise with a T-shirt that read, “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”