Carlos Valdez and his family have been calling up Papa John’s in Roy every time they get a pizza craving, not because of the store, but the delivery driver.
“I love pineapple on my pizza. That’s the only thing my wife loves,” Valdez said with a laugh.
The family always requests for delivery from 89-year-old Derlin Newey, who they have gotten to know because of the deliveries.
“Hello, are you looking for some pizza?” Newey always asks whenever he delivers.
The family also started recording Newey’s deliveries and posting them on TikTok, and they became pretty popular with their 53k followers.
“It’s insane. Everybody loves him,” Valdez said.
However, commenters kept wondering why an 89-year-old was working as a pizza delivery man. Many expressed their sadness and sympathy.
“Somebody at that age should not be working that much,” Valdez said.
Because of the comments, Valdez got the idea to ask his followers to donate a little money for Dewey. He expected just a few dollars.
“Collectively as a TikTok community, we all came together, and we were able to raise $12,000 for this amazing person,” Valdez said.
The family went to Dewey’s house to surprise him with a delivery of their own.
“Good morning, dude! How you doing?” Valdez greeted Newey when he opened the door.
Newey thought they were there to give him a “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?” shirt, but had no idea about the money.
“We collectively collected a gift for you, and I’m here to deliver that gift to you on behalf of the TikTok community,” Valdez told Newey, who had no idea what TikTok was.
“Is that an online group you communicate with each other through the telephone?” he asked.
When he received the $12,000 donation, he responded with tears in his eyes: “How do I ever say thank you? I don’t know what to say.”
He revealed that he began working as a pizza delivery man because his social security alone couldn’t cover his bills. Newey lived alone in a mobile home.
“I work about 30 hours a week,” he said.
“I don’t know what to say, except thank you,” he added.
Valdez stated: “This couldn’t have gone any better. 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.”