Just like restaurants and coffee shops, pizza delivery drivers have regular customers. Over time, drivers of pizza shops like Domino's get to know their customers pretty well. Unlike other businesses, however, these delivery drivers are also seeing where their customers live and the state of their home.
When Domino's delivery drivers Angela Nguyen and Sarah Hughes saw the inside of one of their regular customer's homes, they knew they had to act fast. The two women, who are mother and daughter, went above and beyond their employee duties to help 76-year-old Lee Haase.
Angela Nguyen Wasn't Always a Delivery Driver
Living in Anoka County, Minnesota, Angela Nguyen works as a delivery driver for Domino's. But that's not the job she's always had. Before becoming a Domino's driver, Angela worked for the Minnesota Visiting Nurses.
Angela told The Atlantic, "I did housekeeping for people with AIDS and HIV. Then they closed my department. They offered me another position with hospice, but I had a daughter that died while I was working for Minnesota Visiting Nurses, and it was just too difficult for me to think of going to work with other people that were dying. So I left."
Her Daughter Worked For Domino's
After she left the Minnesota Visiting Nurses, Angela began looking for other work. She often took care of her grandchildren and needed to find a job with a flexible schedule. Angela decided that she would apply to be a Domino's driver, where her daughter Sarah also worked.
Soon, she was in the flow of her new job, which allowed for one of the two women to always be home with the kids, too.
They Had The Same Customers, Including Lee Haase
Angela told The Atlantic, "I would help [Sarah] out quite a bit, watching her children. I got a job at Domino's and worked opposite hours of her. It was flexible enough for me to watch her kids while she worked and then for her to have her children when I went to work."
Both of the women delivered pizza around their town in Anoka County, Minnesota. Often times, they would serve the same customers, including Lee Haase.
Lee Was a Regular Customer at Domino's
One customer that Angela and Sarah could count on hearing from was 76-year-old Lee Haase. A resident of Anoka County, Lee would order pizza from Domino's every Saturday. Angela told USA Today that his order was like clockwork.
"About 10:15 a.m. you are going to get an order from Lee. He likes to order every Saturday. So at least once a week, Angela or Sarah would pull up to Lee's trailer with his favorite pizza.
Lee Had a Terrible Year
The year 2015 was incredibly hard on Lee. A series of unfortunate and unpredictable events changed his life entirely. First, his home was damaged in a bad storm. The house needed a lot of work to make it inhabitable again, and Lee didn't have the savings to do it. So, he was forced to move into a trailer on his property.
Then, tragedy struck when his son was unexpectedly killed in a snowmobile accident. Lee was completely heartbroken and down on his luck. But that didn't keep him from being kind to others, and optimistic about his own future.
The Trailer Was In Bad Shape
After his house was no longer safe to live in, Lee moved into a trailer on his property in Minnesota. But the trailer wasn't in good shape either. At 76-years-old, Lee felt that he didn't have many options. But after seeing where he lived, Domino's delivery driver Sarah, Angela's daughter, didn't feel good about it.
The trailer roof and siding was rusted and deteriorating. The same storm that had destroyed his house had left the trailer in bad shape, and winter was on the horizon.
The Trailer Wasn't A Good Place for Lee To Live
After Sarah delivered pizza to Lee one day, she went home and told her mom the state of inside. She had discovered that the trailer didn't have electricity, heat, or plumbing. Although Lee was trying to make the best of the situation, by ordering pizza since he couldn't make food, Sarah knew he would be in danger once the temperatures dropped and another storm hit.
Angela's daughter told her what she learned. "I thought, 'We got to do something. We can't let a human being live like this.'" Angela explained to USA Today.
Getting To Know Lee
Since they learned of his harsh living conditions, Lee was on the minds of Angela and Sarah. Even though her days of working with the Minnesota Visiting Nurses was over, Angela still had an intuition to help people in need.
Angela told The Atlantic, "[The pizzas are] what [Lee] would live on, on the weekends because he was elderly and couldn't get Meals on Wheels." She realized, however, that finding ways to get food was only one of Lee's problems. Warmth and shelter were also a big problem that needed to be solved. And quickly.
Angela Formed a Friendship With Lee
Lee was a kind older man, and Angela wanted to do whatever she could to help him when she saw him. "I would look forward to delivering to him and just being a little ray of sunshine to him every Saturday morning, saying, 'How are you doing, Lee?'"
She even went out of her way to make sure he had what he needed. "Sometimes, I would stop at the store and grab him a hot cup of coffee and a doughnut before I'd go there with his pizza."
Angela Had The Right Attitude
Angela's empathetic personality wouldn't stop there, however. She told USA Today, "There's no way somebody can live like that and be fine. So you just step in, and you do what you got to do."
Truly going above her call of duty as a Domino's driver, Angela set-up a GoFundMe page explaining Lee's story, and asking for help for whoever could make a donation. On the page, Angela included a photo of the dilapidated trailer, with the title, "Not in our community!!!!" Urging people to help their elderly neighbor find a new home.
It Turned Out, Other People Wanted To Help, Too
The GoFundMe page that Angela gained traction as people signed on to donate. Although she initially thought she would get some contributions from her fellow community members, the page reached generous people far beyond their Minnesota town.
"We got donations from as far as Australia!" she told USA Today. Her goal to raise $35,000 was almost entirely met in two months, with around 765 people pitching in a total of $32,000 to help Lee find a safe place to live.
The Next Step
Now that Angela had the donation money, she was ready to take the next step in finding a safe home for Lee. After doing some searching, Angela was able to find a trailer in her local community that was in good condition and would fit Lee's housing needs.
Once again, generous neighbors in their Minnesota community pitched in and donated furniture to make Lee's new place move-in ready. The woman who delivered pizzas to Lee's door was now delivering him a new home!
The Greatest Christmas Gift
Angela was able to secure Lee's new home just in time for Christmas. Luckily, she was able to raise the funds in two months, so Lee would be moved in before the temperature got colder and the snow would start to fall.
Along with her daughter Sarah and other community members who pitched in to help, they anxiously awaited the moment that they would surprise Lee with his new home.
He Was Speechless
As you can imagine, Lee was completely taken aback by the generosity of Angela and the community. After one of the toughest years in his life, Lee was being given a helping hand to get back on his feet.
Not only did his new home have electricity, heating, and plumbing, but the crew of volunteers made sure that it was clean, stocked with food, and felt like home. They even brought in a Christmas tree!
"I Promised You We Were Going To Help You"
Once they presented Lee with his new home, Sarah gave him a big hug. "You remember when this started, and I promised you we were going to help you?" She asks him, fighting back the tears.
Lee couldn't believe his eyes and took his time trying to find the right words. "It's wonderful," he said. "I'm so grateful for people doing this." Without family around to help Lee when he needed it, the community stepped up in a big way, and he appreciated every one of them.
Taking The Tour
After the initial shock wore off a bit, and everyone was given a minute to dry their eyes, it was time to give Lee a tour of his new home. Angela, Sarah, and the volunteers made sure that the cabinets were stocked with food and Lee had everything he needed to take care of himself when Meals on Wheels weren't able to reach him on the weekends.
The home also had a washer and dryer, and a welcoming message in the bedroom that read, "Joy, hope, love, peace, believe."
Everyone Was Happy To Help
While Lee continued to express his gratitude for all that his new friends had done for him, they made sure to let him know that they wanted to do it. While everyone gathered in the living room with Santa Claus hats, Angela told Lee, "Every single one of us enjoyed doing this."
She continued, "This ain't all for Lee. We all benefited." The effort that Angela and her daughter Sarah put in to helping Lee also brought the community together, and allowed others from around the world to help, too.
Lee Is Safe In His New Home
Now that Lee was comfortable and safe in his new home, Angela and Sarah could rest a bit easier knowing their friendly regular customer would be okay through the winter. But of course, their work only inspired them to help others even more.
Seeing the difference that they could make, reaching out to people they met while working as delivery drivers for Domino's, made them change the way they felt about every customer.
Angela Continues Helping Her Community
Of course, Lee isn't the only Domino's customer that Angela met and saw needed some help. After successfully getting Lee moved into his new home, she began to think about the other people she met while working.
"Another customer's daughter just had surgery for Crohn's disease and was very, very ill and mother was out of work," Angela told The Atlantic. So once again, Angela took to GoFundMe to help another member of her community that she met while delivering pizzas.
Always Ready To Help
"I started a GoFundMe for her, and we are getting enough donations that her mother doesn't have to worry about going back to work right now," Angela told The Atlantic.
She continued, "[Lee] really stood out for quite some time and doesn't order for delivery anymore because he's got a stove and a refrigerator and a microwave." Now that he's taken care of, Angela is looking for other people she can help.
A Police Officer Saved The Life Of A Girl Who Always Waved To Him
Some friendships we develop in our lives can be truly life-changing. This statement has never been truer than when looking at the friendship between Klynn Scales and her favorite police officer in Missouri. Every day when she was nine-years-old, Klynn would wait for him to make his rounds. The pair looked forward to being the light in each other's day. Then something happened to Klynn that could have cut her life tragically short if not for her friend. What exactly happened? How was Klynn’s life saved? What happened after?
A Friendly Hello
At nine years old, Klynn Scales found her first hero; a local police officer who was assigned to make the rounds in her neighborhood every day. She kept track of what time he would be passing by her house and would sit by the window waiting. When he'd pass by, Klynn would excitedly wave to say hello.
The police officer enjoyed the friendly interaction and would wave back. Every day, the pair would exchange hellos, often brightening otherwise hard days. There's a reason Klynn's neighborhood was patrolled daily. She didn't exactly have an easy childhood.
The Life Of Young Klynn Scales
Klynn Scales grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. During the 1990s, when she was a little girl, she would help her mom take care of her two younger brothers. To anyone on the outside, she seemed like just another young girl living a normal life.
Her life, however, was anything but normal. Klynn's neighborhood was so dangerous, she would look forward to seeing the police officer drive by her house every day. This was the truth of Klynn's life, and somehow she found a way to embrace it. It was, for this reason, she survived through the most difficult time of her life.
Klynn Raised Her Brothers
The house that Klynn Scales grew up in with her brothers and mother was in a neighborhood ruined by drugs and violence. It was no place for a child to have to grow up, but it was the reality of Klynn's situation.
Making matters worse, Klynn's mother was rarely home, having to work ruthless hours to keep a roof over her family's heads. This meant a lot of Klynn's life growing up was spent raising her brothers. That's a lot to ask someone who isn't even a teenager.
Klynn Played The Role Of Mother
As the oldest sibling in a household with an absentee parent, Klynn took responsibility for her brothers. She knew they needed to eat, so she would walk through her dangerous neighborhood to go to 7-Eleven. Without money to pay for the essentials, young Klynn was forced to steal what she needed to survive.
The troubled life of Klynn and her brothers is heartbreaking to think about. No child should grow up without a childhood, and that's essentially what happened. Klynn became a mother to her brothers, and her love drove her to do whatever needed to be done for their well being, even at her own health's decline.
The Police Noticed Klynn
Because of the way she was forced to live her life, it wasn't long until the police noticed Klynn Scales. They learned everything they could about the down-on-their-luck family. One police officer in particular, found himself especially concerned.
This was the officer who ended up driving by Klynn's house every day, becoming a light in an otherwise dark world. Their daily exchange became expected and highly anticipated. This officer was making a huge difference in Klynn's life. He had no idea that before he knew it, he'd also be saving it.
The Officer Pledged His Allegiance To Klynn
Not only did the unnamed police officer drive by Klynn's house every day to make sure she was safe, he told her that he was there to protect her. Fully grown today, Klynn said, "Through all the bad situations, I would just picture him saying that he was here for us."
This dedication helped Klynn get through even her darkest times, "those words would come to me during the worst times of my childhood life." It wouldn't be long until this promise would be fulfilled, proving to Klynn that good still existed in the world.
A Daily Greeting Became A Warning Sign
Little Klynn Scales quickly grew attached to her new friend, "He was the one person that I trusted in my life as a kid." She loved greeting him every day, and he loved waving back. When she didn't show up to greet him one day he knew something was wrong.
Their greeting had become routine, and considering the neighborhood Klynn lived in and the responsibilities she had as a "mother," her missing her daily greeting was a troubling warning sign that something wasn't right.
The Officer Approached The House
Cautiously, the police officer approached the Scales household and let his instincts take over. What he found when he opened the door was devastating. Little Klynn was laying on the floor, struggling to take a single breath.
The officer rushed Klynn to the emergency room, where all he could do was wait. We know now that Klynn survived, but imagine being this officer with no idea what was happening. We can't imagine how hard it must have been to helplessly wait outside of the emergency room.
Klynn Was Given A Clean Bill Of Health
Luckily for the police officer, his quick thinking saved Klynn's life. At the hospital, it was determined she had suffered a severe episode of malnutrition. If he hadn't have found her at the time he did, there's a good chance Klynn would not be alive too.
Shortly after the incident, Klynn moved with her family to Texas. She was never able to say thank you to the man who had saved her life. Knowing it's never too late, Klynn set out 20-years-later to track down her unnamed hero.
Klynn Turned To The Internet
One of the firsts things Klynn did when she began searching for her hero was to post about her experience online. She didn't know who might see what she was posting, but she stayed optimistic. Her optimism paid off when she saw a comment by Jennifer Jones.
Jones was a Sergeant with the Kansas City Police and saw Klynn's story. She told Klynn she thought she knew the officer being described. Was Klynn about to find out the true identity of her childhood hero? Was her search for the truth uncovered this easily?
The Name Behind The Face Revealed
In 2016, an officer named Jeff Colvin opened an email from Jennifer Jones. The email talked about Klynn and the story she wrote about online. She explained there was a little girl who lived down the street from the station Colvin worked at was grown up and looking for her "guardian angel."
Colvin recognized the story right away. He knew who Klynn was, and knew that the little girl whose life he saved was able to grow up. Years of worry and wondering were flushed away with joy and happiness.
Colvin Was Ecstatic
Just as Klynn Scales had never forgotten about Jeff Colvin, he had never forgotten her either. As he said, "I had actually thought about her and wondered whatever happened with her." Now he didn't have to wonder anymore, he knew the truth.
The truth made him ecstatic. He was overwhelmed with happiness to learn that Klynn was alive. He was also incredibly touched she remembered him and had reached out to find him. The only thing left to do was be reunited with Klynn.
A Reunion With Tears
After 20 years not knowing what had happened to the other, Colvin and Klynn reunited in person. Both were overwhelmed with emotions. Klynn even broke down in tears upon seeing her childhood hero again. She admitted that she thought it would never happen.
Colvin's life was changed by the reunion too. He had spent so long on the force dealing with more failures than successes he was losing his passion for the job. Seeing Klynn reignited a fire inside him.
Colvin Found The Love For His Job Again
When Jeff Colvin saw Klynn for the first time in 20 years, something amazing happened. His passion for the job returned. He said, "most times we go through our career not realizing we truly helped anybody out. I wondered if I was even in the right career path."
Officer Colvin, at that moment, knew without a doubt he had made the right career choice. He then learned that his choices led Klynn to make a unique career choice of her own!
Klynn's Grown Up Job
Inspired by her childhood hero, Klynn Scales revealed to Colvin that she applied to be a police recruit in Houston. His heroics had led her down her own path to become a police officer and work to make a positive impact on the lives of those around her.
The surprises didn't end there. Scales had been dreaming of this reunion for twenty years. Not only was Colvin her childhood hero and career inspiration, he was like a surrogate father to her. With that, she had one more thing to tell him.
Klynn's Tribute To Colvin
As soon as Klynn learned the name of her hero, she had a bracelet made with the words, "Sgt. Jeff Colvin 'A True Hero'" engraved on it. She said she got the bracelet to honor her hero and friend, reiterating she sees him as her "guardian angel."
The story of Klynn and Colvin proves the positive power that police officers can have on communities and individuals. Klynn isn't the only person who has ever had her life changed by an officer, something she found out when her story went viral.
Klynn's Story Went Viral
Knowing there are few things as powerful for police stations as community outreach, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department shared the story online. Her story went viral instantly, with many people inspired to share their own amazing stories about police officers.
Not surprisingly, several commentators shared their own stories about Sgt. Colvin and the amazing things he had done for them. As it turns out, Klynn's life wasn't the only one he saved after all his years on the streets. He was a true local Kansas City hero.
The Support Was Incredible
In today's world, police officers aren't always treated with respect, and the overwhelming support Klynn and Colvin received was incredible. One comment read, "I have great respect for all police, though some deserve it more than others."
In this case, no one deserves more respect than Jeff Colvin for the time and care he took in protecting Klynn during her time of need. And Klynn has now made it her life's mission to pay it forward.
Klynn's Future Is A Reflection Of Her Past
Talking about her plans for the future, Klynn chooses to focus her attention on the past, "I hope one day I can become someone's hero, or make a positive impact like you [Colvin] did mine." With two kids of her own, Scales plans to start with them.
Then, with her new career, she plans to become an even bigger hero. Colvin's heroics showed her there was light in the dark. Now she sees it as her job to "pay it forward" and show a new generation of lost souls that there is hope.
The Story Comes Full Circle
The story of Sgt. Jeff Colvin and Klynn Scales is one of sadness turned into happiness. It stands as proof that there's good in the world, and there are people committed to being good. This is important to remember, especially during tough times.
After graduating from the police academy, as of June 2018, Klynn is officially a police officer. Can you guess who was in the audience cheering her on? Jeff Colvin and his wife, along with Jennifer Jones all showed up to congratulate Klynn on her accomplishment.