An 89-year-old man delivered their pizza. They collected over $12,000 in tips for him.

Strangers helping out strangers is always a heartwarming thing. But when lots and lots of strangers come together to help one individual who needs and deserves a little hand up, we get a much-needed flood of warm, gushy best-of-humanity feelings.

Such is the case of an 89-year-old pizza delivery man, Derlin Newey, who happened to win the hearts of the Valdez family after he delivered them a pizza and struck up a conversation. Newey had no idea his friendly demeanor and obviously stellar work ethic would soon make him a TikTok star, nor did he expect an outpouring of donations from perfect strangers that relieve some of his burden.

Carlos Valdez shared the initial pizza delivery video, taken through the family's Nest doorbell, on TikTok about a week ago. "Hello, are you looking for some pizza?" Newey says when they answer the door, then chats with them for a while.



"What is this guy doing delivering pizzas? True hustler," Valdez wrote when he shared the video. He decided to find out.

When Valdez discovered that the elderly man worked five or six shifts a week for Papa John's, he and his family decided to do something kind for him. They set up a Venmo account for their TikTok followers to donate to—Valdez specified small donations of $.25, $.50, or $1.00—and they would just see what kind of a "tip" they could collect for Newey.

In a week, they raised an impressive $12,069 for Newey—and he had no idea. After a couple more deliveries (set up by the Valdezes on purpose so they could get more info), Newey invited the Valdezes to come share a meal at his house—because that's just the kind of guy he is. And when they showed up they brought a big fake check.

Newey's reaction is priceless:

They also gave him the cash in an envelope right then and there.

"How do I ever say thank you," said Newey, clearly moved. "I don't know what to say."

Newey lives alone and says he works about 30 hours a week delivering pizzas because his social security check isn't enough to support him.

"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."

Valdez posted a follow-up thank-you video to his 60,000 followers on TikTok today.

"We did it. We all came together as a community to help a complete stranger that we didn't know. With everything that's going on in the world, I'm just glad that we pulled together, came together, to show some kindness during this time." After thanking everyone, he said he's received a lot of message from people who want to give something to help, so Valdez said he's going to keep the Venmo account open for people to donate, with all of the donations going directly to Newey.

Well done, Valdez family. Thank you for introducing us to the delightful Derlin Newey, and thank you for reminding us that people can be such forces for good.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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