ROY, Utah — An 89-year-old pizza delivery man got a bigger tip than normal from a Utah family on Tuesday -- $12,000 in cash.
Derlin Newey, who delivers pizza for Papa John’s in Roy, became a favorite of Carlos Valdez and his wife. The couple became so enamored with Newey’s charm that they began recording his deliveries and broadcasting them to their 53,000 TikTok viewers, KSL-TV reported.
“It’s insane. Everyone loves him,” Valdez told the television station.
Even Newey’s opening line when customers open the door is endearing: "Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”
Valdez thought it was insane that a man pushing 90 should be working, particularly running around delivering pizzas. So, using their popular TikTok name of @vendingheads, they asked their followers to donate a little money to help Newey out.
Valdez said he thought he might raise a few dollars, but his followers responded in a big way, KSL reported.
“Collectively as a TikTok community, we all came together, and we were able to raise $12,000 for this amazing person,” Valdez told the television station.
Tuesday morning, Valdez and his wife visited Newey at his home and handed him the cash.
“It’s real,” Valdez said.
“How do I ever say thank you? I don’t know what to say,” Newey said, his eyes tearing.
Newey didn’t know anything about TikTok, a video-sharing social networking service. He lives alone in a mobile home and began delivering pizzas when his Social Security money did not cover his bills, KSL reported.
“I work about 30 hours a week,” Newey told the television station.
Thanks to the TikTok community, Newey can lighten his load.
“This couldn’t have gone any better,” Valdez told KSL. “He needed this. 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.”