Angela Nguyen is a Domino’s pizza delivery driver, who usually, makes many routine calls in a night. However, on this particular night, she visited a man she’s seen multiple times, expecting the usual greeting, but this time, it was anything but ordinary. She noticed something that would shock her, and she knew she needed to take action.
Usually, when Angela interacts with customers, it’s quick and uneventful. She greets them, shows them their order to make sure everything is correct, receives payment, and is on her way. Occasionally, she gets greeted by a cute pup, but that’s about it.
When she got an order to a house she had been to multiple times, she headed there as quick as possible, but didn’t expect to see what she did.
Lee Haase is a regular customer who, Angela usually spends a little more time with. She’s always friendly and personable to all customers, but especially with Lee because he was a sweet old man, who lived alone. She was shocked that she never noticed this issue before today, as she has been there many times.
Lee is a Dominos regular, always calling in an order every Saturday at around 10:15. The Ham Lake Domino’s pizza is always the one to receive the order, and they look out for it like clockwork. They have a few customers like Lee, most of which are older and homebound. Everyone who worked there cared about Lee as he had been a part of their lives for quite some time, but sadly, no one knew what was really going on.
A Small Town
Lee lives in a small town, so there are only a few workers and delivery personnel at the local Domino’s. Angela and her daughter, Sarah Hughes, are the main drivers so one of them always delivers to Lee. Lee lived in a modest trailer that both women had been to many times. They had never seen the inside of it, however, until one night when he had to fetch some change.
It was in that moment, that Sarah knew she had to do something.
The Storm That Changed Everything
Lee hadn’t always had to live in the trailer, but since last fall, it was his new home. The roof of his house was destroyed when a powerful storm hit the area, and he didn’t have money to fix it. The trailer was only 12 feet long, and clearly in need of some TLC.
Angela noticed a strong smell coming from inside the trailer, and couldn’t help but noticed how cluttered the small space was. She knew he was elderly and most likely needed some help cleaning things up, but she didn’t know how bad it actually was.
As she started asking Lee questions, the truth revealed itself.
As Angela began asking Lee more about his situation, she realized the extent of the misfortune. She noticed it was freezing inside the house and he told her that he didn’t have any heat other than blankets. She also realized it was almost pitch black and he admitted there was no electricity either.
And that was just the beginning.
Lee also didn’t have any plumbing connected to the tiny trailer, making life really hard to maintain. Angela couldn’t believe her eyes and she didn’t understand how his family could leave him like that. Soon, the entire truth came out.
Tragedy Keeps Striking
When the storm ripped apart his home, he was forced to evacuate the premises as it was deemed unlivable. Then, the unthinkable happened–his son died in a tragic accident. In an instant, he was homeless, grieving, and had no means to change his situation. He was devastated and on some level, had no will to live.
The Only Joy
The reality of the situation was he needed help, and quickly. The only way he could bring himself a little joy and comfort was to order a pizza every Saturday. Angela couldn’t believe what she was hearing and she knew, she was going to do something to help Lee–she had to.
A Helping Hand
Angela and her daughter discussed Lee’s living situation and decided they needed to spring into action, “I thought we got to do something. We can’t let a human being live like this.” But they couldn’t do it all alone, and they knew they needed the help of the community to bring Lee back from this dark place.
Then, they had a great idea.
First Things First
First, Angela knew she needed to solve the heating issue. She bought Lee a space heater because there was no way he could live in that house another day with temperatures dropping as they were. Being a pizza delivery driver, she already lived on a modest salary, so she had to get creative to help with the big picture.
They set up a page on Go Fund Me, asking the Internet for help saving Lee’s dire situation. They shared photos and explained what was going on. People from all over the world began to donate to help Lee and his story touched their hearts, “We got donations from as far as Australia,” she said. Soon, everything was about to change for Lee.
A New Beginning
Lee was about to get a new beginning he could never imagine was possible. With the proceeds from GoFundMe, nearly $32,000, they were able to buy him a new trailer. His new trailer was equipped with all the necessary things to live comfortably, like heat, electricity, and plumbing. But that wasn’t all they had in store for Lee.
Community Coming Together
With the help of the local community, they were able to fully furnish Lee’s new house from the generous donations of locals. Not only was it now fully furnished, but they were also able to fill his pantry and bathroom to make things a little easier on him. By the time Christmas came around, everything was ready to show Lee.
Everyone who was involved in the process was there when it was time to reveal Lee’s new house. His new bedroom was the size of his old trailer and he couldn’t believe his eyes when he finally saw it. The volunteers hung a sign above the door that said, “Joy, hope, love, peace, believe,” to keep his spirits high.
Tears of Joy
Lee was overwhelmed with emotion and couldn’t believe that all of these people would help him. Angela said, “You remember when this started and I promised you we were going to help you? Merry Christmas!” Stunned at his new life, Lee stated, “It’s wonderful. I’m so grateful for the people doing this.”
Soon, Angela admitted that this wasn’t entirely a selfless act of kindness.
Enjoying the Process
Angela admitted that, “Every single one of us enjoyed doing this. This ain’t all for Lee. We all benefited.” Everyone who helped out on this project felt so warm and fuzzy at the chance to help such a kind soul. Lee says all the volunteers are “his new extended family.”
Angela and her daughter Sarah have done something that changed someone’s life for the better, and he will forever be thankful. However, they aren’t the only Domino’s employees to save a life.
Two Domino’s employees in Salem, Oregon realized one of their regular customers hadn’t made an order in 11 days, and they were starting to get concerned. They decided to check up on him, as they knew he was an elderly man living alone. When he didn’t answer, they called the police to check on him. When the police got there, they found him on the floor after suffering from a stroke. Luckily, thanks to the employees, he received the medical care necessary to recover.