By Andrea Widberg, The American Thinker
Even for a news junkie, tracking the news in 2020 has been dispiriting at times. That’s why it was so refreshing to read about what happened when the Valdez family in Roy, Utah took the time to get to know Derlin Newey, the elderly man who delivered their Papa John’s pizza.
The Valdezes are a young Hispanic couple in Roy, a mid-sized community north of Salt Lake City, raising a little girl. They have a substantial following — over 53,000 people — on their TikTok channel. One of their great loves is Papa John’s pizza in Roy.
Somewhat unusually, their pizza delivery guy, instead of being a teenager or a 20-something guy, is Newey, an elderly man. Whenever he showed up with their pizza, he cheerfully greeted them, asking, “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”
Eventually, the Valdezes started asking for Newey by name when they ordered a pizza. They also started recording his deliveries for their TikTok fans, and Newey’s good cheer pleased everyone.
During the course of the videos, the Valdezes and their followers learned that Newey is 89 years old. The general feeling was that it was sad that Newey was still working up to 30 hours a week selling pizza. “Somebody at that age should not be working that much,” Valdez told KSL.com, the local news channel.
The Valdezes decide to use their TikTok channel to raise money for Newey. They expected they’d get a few dollars into the Venmo account they set up. They were way off. The Valdezes ended up collecting over $12,000 for Newey.
With the promise that they would bring him a “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?” t-shirt, the Valdezes had gotten Dewey’s address. They showed up at his small home the other day with the t-shirt, a check for $12,069, and a camera crew.
This is the point when you get to watch the video. You might want to have a hankie nearby:
As you saw, Newey wasn’t delivering pizzas just to get out of the house. He was doing it because he couldn’t manage on his Social Security check. That’s why he started crying when he saw the generous gift the Valdezes handed him.
Carlos Valdez knew the right thing to say:
“This couldn’t have gone any better,” said Valdez. “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.”
I’ve posted this story for a couple of reasons. First, during an endlessly upsetting year, it’s delightful to write about nice people being kind. Kindness is an incredible social lubricant.
Second, this is a story about Americans. It’s not a story about a Hispanic family and a white man. It’s a story about a kind, thoughtful young couple who wanted to help out an elderly man who faced life’s challenges with fortitude and good humor.
Or, as Carlos said, “we just need to treat people with kindness and respect the way he does.” That’s how we in America should see each other — as people, not skin colors, or genders, or whatever other nasty little tribal divisions the Democrats insist on imposing on us.
Americans’ natural inclination is to reach out and care for one another. Sure, there are unkind or even racist people out there, but so what? They’re anomalies. Most of us are Mr. and Mrs. Valdez or Mr. Newey, people living their lives with smiles and making a difference through innate generosity of spirit.
When you watch Antifa and BLM stirring up hate and acting violent, remember that these awful people are not who we are. Do what the Valdezes did: be kind to someone. Through your action and the other person’s response, you’ll be reminded what America is really about.