Teen pizza employee drives 450-mile round-trip to make one special delivery
When a pizzeria employee received a phone call about a dying man, living 225 miles away, who loves the pizza they bake, he knew he had to make some exceptions. Little did he expect his act of kindness would quickly go viral.
In October, Julie and Rich Morgan, of Indianapolis, had planned for a weekend getaway trip to Battle Creek, Michigan, for a taste of their favorite “gold standard” pizza from Steve’s Pizza.
But unexpectedly, Rich was admitted to an ICU for five days. Doctors told them Rich’s cancer had gotten worse and his days were numbered; he was put under hospice care.
Steve’s Pizza has always been part of the Morgans’ memory. Almost 25 years ago, when the couple lived in Battle Creek, Rich used to buy the store’s pizza for dinner on his pay day. To them, the pizza was “delicious” and a “gold standard” as compared to others.
“I can’t possibly describe how delicious this pizza is—but several moves and all these years later, it is still the gold standard and we’ve never found a better pizza yet. Rich has frequently critiqued other pizza as ‘good but, it’s no Steve’s,’” Julie wrote on her Facebook page.
The new Steve's Pizza Logo, designed by legendary Tim Peterson of Unison Design.
When Julie’s dad, David Dalke, learned of their failed trip, he decided to do something. He called Steve’s Pizza to request if they could send the couple a friendly text or card.
The pizzeria’s teen employee, Dalton Shaffer, answered the phone. After hearing the story, the 18-year-old asked what kind of pizza the couple likes and said he would deliver the pizzas once the store had closed.
Dalke was stunned as they live 225 miles away, which means it’d be a 3.5-hour drive.
“I really didn’t think twice about it. It was a spontaneous reaction from me I guess,” Shaffer told TODAY Food.
Sometimes a slice of pizza is more than it appears to be! Read on for the story of an epic pizza delivery and the…
On Oct. 13, Shaffer arrived at the Morgan family’s home around 2:30 a.m. to deliver their favorite piece of pepperoni and mushroom pizza. The kind teen refused payment for the pizza and Dalke’s offer to stay overnight in a hotel after the long drive, saying that he needed to get back for work the next day.
It turned out that Shaffer hadn’t told anyone about his selfless act of compassion, except to let his brother know of his whereabouts.
“I did call my brother,” he told Good Morning America. “I said I’m gonna be in Indianapolis, if something happens to me, thats [sic] where to look. I wasn’t expecting anybody to find out.”
This evening I presented a Battle Creek's Finest Award to Dalton Shaffer from Steve's Pizza near Urbandale. Dalton delivered two pizzas from his employer to Indianapolis, IN to a family who had planned to visit BC; however health issues prevented the #randomactsofkindness pic.twitter.com/6mXRVQU6kp
— Mayor Mark A. Behnke (@MarkBehnke) October 28, 2018
However, Shaffer’s kindness did not go unnoticed as Mayor Mark A. Behnke presented a certificate of appreciation to him to acknowledge his actions.
Days after the incident, Rich passed away after losing a two-year battle to cancer, CNN reported. The family was filled with gratitude for Shaffer’s act of kindness.
Today I signed this certificate of appreciation for kindness demonstrated last week by an employee of Steve's Pizza near…
“I am beyond overwhelmed and humbled by this act of genuine kindness. Dalton brought our family so much joy—and the best pizza in the world—at a really difficult time,” Julia wrote on her Facebook page.
“While ‘thank you’ hardly seems adequate—from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Dalton from Steve’s Pizza in Battle Creek, MI for making your epic middle of the night pizza delivery!”
Watch the video below:
ACT OF KINDNESS: This teen drove 7 hours to deliver pizza to a man dying of cancer in another state https://cbsn.ws/2NQVCAu
Posted by CBS News on Friday, October 19, 2018
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