A pizza restaurant in Battle Creek, Michigan, is earning praise across the country after a caring employee made an exception to the restaurant’s no-delivery policy and dropped off some pies for a couple in a different state — after the husband was diagnosed with cancer.
The couple had lived in Battle Creek 25 years ago for just a short time before moving a state away to Indianapolis, Indiana. (WomansWorld.com is withholding the names of the husband and wife to respect their privacy.) But no matter how many pizza options were available in Indianapolis, the pair never stopped thinking about Steve’s Pizza, the local pizza they used to splurge on when they were younger and struggling to make ends meet. “It’s just the best pizza, and we’ve never had anything as good,” the woman said. “We’d try new pizza as a whole family and measure it against Steve’s.”
For the wife’s 56th birthday, the couple had planned to make the trip back to Michigan to treat themselves to Steve’s Pizza again — but then the husband was suddenly diagnosed with salivary gland cancer and given just days or weeks to live.
Knowing how much Steve’s Pizza meant to the grieving couple, the wife’s father made a call to the restaurant and explained the situation. “I thought maybe just some contact from Steve’s Pizza, maybe a note, I thought I might be asking too much, but I contacted them,” the father said. But instead of a note, he got a question: What kind of pies should they deliver?
The man on the other line, 18-year-old Dalton Shaffer, whose uncle owns Steve’s Pizza, was determined to get the couple their pizza, regardless of the almost four-hour drive separating the them. “I reiterated to him, ‘Dalton, we are in Indianapolis, and that’s a three-and-a-half hour drive one way.’ and he said ‘That’s fine,’” the father explained.
And Dalton was true to his word, packing up two pizzas — one with pepperoni and mushrooms and one with just pepperoni — after the store closed at 10:15 p.m. and hopping into his car. When he finally reached the father and the couple’s children at 2:30 a.m. the next day, Dalton simply dropped off the pizzas, turning down payment for the delivery, gas money, and offers to stay the night at a hotel paid for by the family before reluctantly accepting some money the father pushed at him. Then, Dalton drove home because he had work later that day.
Dalton hadn’t even told his uncle about where he was going because he wanted it to be “a kept-quiet kind of thing,” he said. “I wasn’t going to tell anyone about it. I didn’t even tell my uncle or anything when I left for Indiana. I just hope people could keep that family in mind and pray for them.”
As for the husband and wife, they didn’t learn about Dalton’s kindness until the next morning when their children explained what had happened. “The kids all came in and told us, and I cried and couldn’t believe it,” the wife said. “I was incredulous.”
We’re so thankful that there are people like Dalton Shaffer to remind us all of the power of kindness. When he found out that one small thing — a couple of pizzas from their beloved pizza joint — could cheer up an ailing man and his wife, he hopped right in the car and made a surprise happen for a pair of strangers. In this case, he knew that going the extra mile — or in this case, the extra 200 miles — would be worth it.