He felt tears rolling down his face as he stared at the screen of his cell phone. Suddenly, he felt so sad and alone. ”I can’t believe this. I just can’t,” he cried as he watched the TikTok.
At that moment, he promised himself he would never open this evil application again.
Carlos Valdez had an obsession with pizza. He would eat all kinds of pizza, even the ones with pineapple on them. Some people judged him for it, but Carlos didn’t care.
He usually orders his pizzas online or picks them up from the store. However, one day, something unexpected happened during the pizza delivery.
That day, Carlos ordered his pizza from a different Papa John’s location. But when the car pulled up, and he saw the delivery man, he was stunned.
It was an elderly man, probably in his 80s. He could have easily been a grandfather or a grand grandfather. He was holding Carlos’s pizza, and his hands were shaking slightly.
The man looked at Carlos and said, ”Hello, are you looking for some pizza?” Carlos walked up to him and took the pizza from his hands. “Thank you, sir,” he said as he handed the money.
Carlos’s family started to eat the pizza in the kitchen, but Carlos hung around to chat with the elderly man named Derlin Newey. The two got along well and talked about their lives for a while. However, after they parted ways, Carlos couldn’t stop thinking about him. He wanted to know the answer to one simple question.
Carlos wanted to know why an 80-year-old man was still working. In Carlos’s opinion, Derlin was too old to work full-time as a delivery driver.
Carlos immediately thought of his own father and how upset he would be if he found out he was still working 40 hours per week. It broke his heart. But when Carlos’s family ordered their next pizza, Derlin showed up again.
Derlin greeted them with a warm smile and used the same phrase again, “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”
After a long conversation on the porch, Carlos decided to dig into the elderly man’s past and find out why he had to work at such an old age. What he uncovered was very disturbing.
It turns out that Derlin was 89 years old. He had to go back to work because his social security wasn’t enough to cover all of the expenses.
Derlin’s customers and coworkers all loved him. Sometimes, patrons would even ask the store for him to bring their orders. But Carlos and his wife weren’t going to let him work anymore.
Carlos did everything he could to make sure his father would enjoy the last years of his life. He would never allow him to work at this age.
Where were Derlin’s children? Had they forgotten about him? Carlos pulled out his phone and made a call. He needed to do something about this.
Carlos and his wife had a following on TikTok. They had already posted a few videos of them chatting with Derlin on the porch, and his followers loved him.
Now, it was time for a more meaningful video. Carlos filmed himself issuing a special Venmo wallet challenge to everyone watching his videos, hoping to raise some money for Derlin.
Carlos wanted the TikTok users to donate whatever they could so Derlin could get a big tip and buy himself something nice with this money.
Carlos expected to receive a few hundred dollars, but the end result was over $12,000! He collected the money and a few gifts and drove to Derlin’s house to deliver them to him. How did he react?
Derlin opened the door with a smile and welcomed them in. He hadn’t had visitors in a long time and was happy to hang out with Carlos’s family.
They drank some tea in the kitchen, and Carlos told Derlin about his TikTok followers and how they all loved him. Derlin was happy to hear that, but he had no idea what the app was.
Carlos opened the gifts his followers had bought for Derlin and handed them to him. The first present was a t-shirt with a cartoon version of Derlin’s face and his funny pizza catchphrase.
Then, he gave him an envelope filled with a $12,000 tip. Derlin burst into tears when he saw the money, “How do I ever say thank you! I don’t know what to say,” he cried.
It turns out that Derlin was working over 30 hours a week at the pizza shop to make ends meet.
He also lived alone and didn’t have many friends. His story made Carlos and his wife very emotional, and they wished they could do more for him. It was then that Carlos realized two things.
Carlos understood that Derlin’s job let him be around other people and avoid loneliness. However, he also deserved to enjoy retirement.
Carlos wanted to do one more thing for the kind old man.
Carlos’s family made a deal with Derlin that once a week, they would meet and have dinner together.
Derlin has become like a family to Carlos, and they keep in touch almost every single day. “There’s hope,” Derlin said with tears in his eyes.