TikTok family raised money for 89-year-old pizza delivery man


Hannah Weaver, Writer

Derlin Newey is a Papa Johns delivery driver from Roy, Utah. After being friendly when delivering to the Valdez house, Gladys Valdez was in love with Newey’s kindness and how he struck up a ten-minute conversation with her.

“Usually delivery drivers just say hello and hand her the receipt,” Valdez said.

This conversation between Newey and Valdez, made Valdez decide to tell her husband about him. They then recorded every delivery made by Newey and posted it on the popular platform known as TikTok. 

The Valdez family was heartbroken when they found out that Newey works about 30-hours-a-week because his social security couldn’t cover all of his bills. At 89 years old, they felt that the man shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to pay his bills on time. 

Newey hasn’t been able to experience a comfortable retirement, the Valdez family was then determined to take action and give back to Newey. The videos of him that the Valdez family had posted started going viral. Newey even had a popular catchphrase that he used every time he delivers a pizza, “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?” 

After the 53,000 followers were outraged and frustrated about Newey’s situation, the TikTok Community then had the idea from a trending challenge called the “Venmo challenge.” It is a challenge where creators and influencers get their followers to come together to donate money to a fund for those who truly need it. They ended up raising  $12,000 for Newey, calling it a ‘’tip’

Newey was very grateful and emotional when receiving the check. He later thanked the family and community for the money and the kindness that was shown to him. The Valdez were just happy to help and return the respect. They had even given him a shirt with his famous catchphrase written on it. 

Later on, the family reached out to a local radio station that was interested in covering the story. The story had gone viral. The local news was covering it, The Washington Post, CNN and The Guardian. Newey was everywhere.