The town of Tipton, Indiana might want to think about changing its name to “Tip Town” after almost an entire community rallied together to give their favorite pizza deliveryman an incredible gratuity in the form of a new car.
Robert Peters has been delivering the goods for Pizza Hut for 31 years and counting. While ‘pizza delivery man’ may not be a long-term career goal high school kids talk over with their guidance counselors, Peters knows he’s found his niche.
“There were people in my family that were like, ‘Maybe you should consider something a little more financially stable,’” he told Steve Hartman during an ‘On the Road’ segment of the CBS Evening News. “But it’s my purpose in life—trying to make people happy. You know, when you’re delivering to somebody, you may be the only face they see all day.”
Whenever folks in Tipton saw Peters and his 28-year-old Oldsmobile heading their way, they knew they were in for service with a smile. “The town of Tipton calls him ‘Mr. Smiley,’” Tanner Langley, one of Peters’ longtime regular customers, told Good Morning America. “He’s a very kindhearted individual.”
That’s why when Langley learned Peters’ elderly Olds was on its last legs—or wheels—he turned to the community to help make sure their beloved mobile pizza purveyor would be able to keep up his appointed rounds.
Within three days, thanks to the power of social media, Tiptonites raised close to $19,000, which was enough not only to buy Peters a late-model Red Chevy Malibu, but to also cover fees, taxes, and insurance—with plenty left over for gas money to see Peters through a lot more deliveries.
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While Peters admits when he first learned his loyal customers were gifting him with a car, it felt “almost surreal,” at the end of this day—and every day— he’s simply thankful.
“I just hope that all those who made this happen will be blessed as much as they have blessed me,” Peters told GMA. “This has really been an awesome experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
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As for Langley, who’s been having pizzas delivered by Peters since he was a kid, his community’s generous show of gratitude to the man who serves up courtesy, empathy, and a big smile with every order came as no surprise. “That’s the type of impact he has on people,” Langley said.
(WATCH the inspiring CBS video below – EDITOR’S NOTE: Viewers outside the US can view this video on the CBS website, here.)
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