Derlin Newey took up the job because his Social Security would not cover his monthly bills. Individuals have expressed that this is a "failure of the social compact."
Derlin Newey from Roy, Utah, works 30 hours a week delivering pizzas for Papa John's Pizza in order to make some extra money on the side. The 89-year-old picked up the job after he realized he would not be able to pay his monthly bills, which cost more than his Social Security benefits would cover. One of his regular customers, Carlos Valdez, began recording his deliveries and posting them to TikTok when they got to know each other better. The TikTok community loved Newey; in time, they raised $12,069 to hand over to him as a generous tip, NBC Philadelphia reports. However, not everyone believes this is a "feel good" story.
That an 89-year-old has to deliver pizza to pay his bills (by his own account) should cause us great shame.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 24, 2020
I’m so glad people on TikTok helped him out but he shouldn’t have been in this position to begin with. https://t.co/Uewly6urjC
Oh look, it's yet another heartwarming story about how the US's social services system is failing an 89-year old to the point that he has to work 30 hours a week to make ends meet.https://t.co/y0iuJUiCQT— Dr. Leigh VanHandel (@Dr_VanHandel) September 25, 2020
Valdez has over 53,000 followers on the video-sharing platform. Newey quickly became popular for his tagline, "Hello, are you looking for some pizza?" According to the regular customer, all his followers adored him. "It’s insane," he said in an interview. "Everybody loves him." Nonetheless, he also expressed how some of his followers were angered by the fact that, at 89, he had to work 30 hours a week as a delivery driver. He affirmed, "Somebody at that age should not be working that much." That is why his family decided to crowdfund the generous tip for him. They asked their followers on TikTok to contribute as much as they could.
"89-year-old pizza delivery man" should not be a thing. pic.twitter.com/K0NkaNzZrD— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) September 24, 2020
Y’all. This man should be able to live off of social security. He should not have to deliver pizzas at 89 years old. Sweet story, but WTF?! Our country is backwards. https://t.co/X1M8bCI6mq— Rebecca Cherman (@rebeccacherman) September 28, 2020
The TikToker shared, "Collectively as a TikTok community, we all came together, and we were able to raise [over] $12,000 for this amazing person." He visited Newey at his doorstep in order to deliver the kind tip. Newey became incredibly emotional when he received the money. He stated, "How do I ever say thank you? I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to say, except thank you." For Valdez, being able to perform the act of kindness was enough. "This couldn’t have gone any better," the regular said. "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."
89-year old Derlin Newey is a pizza delivery man who received a surprise delivery of his own today. A couple who got to know him from his pizza deliveries raised $12,000 to help him out. He had no idea. The full story runs tonight on @KSL5TV at 6. #ksltv #goodnews pic.twitter.com/Z83K5LTKPh— Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) September 22, 2020
I love stories of people helping people.— Maggie Seymour (@maggie_mae_mour) September 28, 2020
I also would love an economic system that doesn’t rely on the kindness of strangers for the elderly to survive.
For other members of his following on TikTok, however, this was a scene straight out of a dystopian future. On Twitter, where the video of the exchange between Valdez and Newey went viral, users began criticizing the lack of social security in the United States. One user posted, "Always weirds me out when dystopian sh*t’s dressed up in feel-good bells and whistles. Something’s wrong when an 89-year-old has to deliver pizza to cover his bills. Something’s even worse when he has to do it during a pandemic." Many others agreed. While the Valdez family has provided a stop-gap for the pizza deliveryman, the US government should be held responsible for its shortcomings in financial protections, particularly for the elderly. Another user declared, "This is a failure of the social compact."
you could've stopped at "89-Year-Old Pizza Deliveryman" and this would be an article about human rights abuses https://t.co/bHH3g2mekK— Shadowherb (@Shadowherb) September 24, 2020