On Wednesday of last week, a pizza delivery driver received something far from the expected norm when delivering two pizzas to a few college kids. In this case, though, “a few college kids” was more realistically about 3,000 students at Indiana Wesleyan University, who were gathered in their school’s chapel for a usual weekly service.
Attempting to illustrate a lesson of “do for one what you wish you could do for everyone,” Keith Newman, IWU’s president of residential education, came up with an idea aimed to provide an experience his students would take part in first-hand, and not soon forget.
At around 10 a.m., Newman ordered two pizzas to the university chapel from a local Domino’s. The total for the pies came to $12.50. In the meantime, while waiting for the delivery, a collection basket was passed around the chapel and Newman asked that students write inspirational thank you notes and donate any change they could spare.
When deliveryman James Gilpin arrived, he was puzzled when he was asked to bring the pizzas up to the stage. His bewilderment soon turned to sheer joy when Newman paid him for the pies and then handed him a $1,268 tip–a result of the students’ collections–along with several thousand inspirational notes, $70 worth of gift cards, and a piece of cake to boot.
His reaction after everything sunk in, unsurprisingly so, was astonishment. A local news station interviewed Gilpin and a few university students and administrators shortly after the delivery.
Gilpin will use the tip money to fix up his house and buy Christmas gifts for his 5-year-old and 6-year-old children. That’s just utterly awesome, man. I hope he spoils them rotten this holiday season.
Talk about paying it forward, guys. This story just goes to show how the slightest amount of kindness can resonate so fully and be so impactful. I know it’s not the kind of stuff we usually talk about around these parts, but it is the kind of thing that should make you take a step back and cherish all the good things going on around you on the daily.
Bravo to the folks at Indiana Wesleyan for absolutely making this guy’s year..