A Papa John’s pizza delivery man recently got the surprise of his life when he received a generous tip from one of his regulars.
Derlin Newey is an 89-year-old pizza delivery man who has become a beloved character in the TikTok community after Carlos Valdez—also known as @vendingheads in the social media app—shared a series of videos showing his cheerful pizza deliveries.
In the clips, Newey would always greet Valdez with his signature tag line “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?” every time he opens his door to receive his order. Because of his kindness, he has become the family’s favorite delivery man. In fact, they would always request him as their delivery guy whenever they’re craving for some Papa John’s pizza.
Their transactions have become so frequent that Newey joked he was visiting their house for the 1,000th time in one TikTok video.
As @vendingheads continued sharing clips of Newey’s deliveries, their 68.9K TikTok followers also soon became fans of the elderly man.
“It’s insane. Everybody loves him,” Valdez told KSL TV.
While fans constantly sent messages of love to Newey, many commenters also wondered why he was still delivering pizzas at his age. Valdez realized they were right; an 89-year-old man shouldn’t be working that much anymore.
Wanting to use his platform for some good, Valdez asked their followers to make a donation to Newey through his Venmo account. They thought they would be able to collect a few dollars, but incredibly, the TikTok community stepped up. It didn’t take long before they were able to raise $12,000!
“Collectively as a TikTok community, we all came together, and we were able to raise $12,000 for this amazing person,” he said proudly.
Last week, Valdez and his wife visited the delivery man in his Roy, Utah, home to deliver his surprise.
“Good morning, dude! How you doing?” he said as Newey opened the door.
At first, the man guessed that the gift was the t-shirt with his catchphrase printed on it. But the merch which Valdez produced for his TikTok viewers was just a small portion of his surprise.
The couple later presented him with the $12,000 check. Newey was caught off guard upon seeing his name on it, so the couple explained where the money came from.
“No,” he said with an expression of disbelief. “Why would you do such a thing?”
The couple told him this generosity was all a product of love from the TikTok community. Newey didn’t know what the platform was.
“How do I ever say thank you?” he said with tears in his eyes. “I don’t know what to say.”
In a video interview, Newey said that he lives alone in his mobile home. He’ still working because he couldn’t rely on his Social Security alone to afford his bills. To make ends meet, he works around 30 hours per week, delivering pizzas to Papa John’s customers.
The Valdez family told the outlet they were thrilled to have helped someone who really deserved it.
“He needed this. I’m just glad we could help him,” Valdez said. “We just need to treat people with kindness and respect the way he does. He stole our hearts.”
Even though Valdez has delivered Newey’s $12,000 “tip,” he’s still accepting donations for the humble delivery man. Since his story made the news, TikTok and Twitter users have been sending more funds to his Venmo account.
They’ve also created a Venmo account for him, so if you would like to help this friendly delivery man, you can do so by sending funds to Newey’s own account: @derlin-newey.
Their hope is that Newey wouldn’t have to work so hard any more with all the money he’s received and will be receiving from sweet strangers on the internet.
See Newey’s emotional reaction to his surprise gift in the video below.
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
Another recipient of the TikTok community’s generosity is this young man named Kevin, who was playing the violin outside a Target store to help his mother pay rent.
He put up a sign in front of him that read, “Need to help my mom with rent, God bless.”
Lexy Kadey, a TikToker who has over 1.1M followers, approached him and asked how close he was to his mom’s rent.
“My mom’s rent is like $600, and I have like $175,” Kevin answered.
Kadey told him about the Venmo Challenge she’s doing, where she asked her followers to Venmo her small amounts of change so she can donate money to servers and other people in need. After explaining, she handed the violinist $1,000 in cash!
Kevin was left speechless because of her unexpected act of generosity. As a thank you, he asked Kadey if he could give her a hug!
The world needs to hear more stories like this. Share this with your friends and family to lift their spirits.