MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — A South Carolina family has helped raise more than $260,000 for a 72-year-old Domino’s pizza worker who fell on their porch while delivering their meal.
Barbara Gillespie can now retire, according to Lacey Keighron of Moncks Corner. A TikTok video of Gillespie falling on the Keighrons’ porch on Feb. 2 went viral, The State newspaper of Columbia reported. The video has been viewed more than 15.5 million times on TikTok, according to the newspaper.
The video came from a doorbell camera, which captured Gillespie tripping while carrying several boxes of Domino’s pizza, according to The State. The woman struggled to get up while Keighron’s husband went onto the porch to assist her.
“I open the door and there she is just laying on the ground trying to get up,” Kevin Keighron told “Good Morning America.” “She was more worried about (the food) than anything else. And I was like, ‘I don’t care about the food. I care about you.’”
Lacey Keighron posted the video on TikTok and created a GoFundMe page.
“We would like to bless her by bringing a ‘tip’ to help her with anything she may need,” the page stated. “She is an older woman who fell and only cared about the food she dropped. Let’s show her some kindness and take off some of this burden that our economy is causing the older generations especially.”
The tip was overwhelming. As of early Friday, more than $261,000 has been pledged by more than 16,000 people. Lacey Keighron wrote in a Facebook post on Feb. 9 that Gillespie had put in her two-week notice.
“So excited for her,” she wrote.
The Keighrons surprised Gillespie at work with flowers, chocolates, and a large amount of money, WCIV-TV reported.
“I couldn’t even think they were asking me for my phone number,” Gillespie told the television station. “I couldn’t remember my phone number, I am just standing there -- and tears are welling in my eyes -- and I am going, ‘I can’t believe this. This isn’t happening to me.’”
Lacey Keighton said that she and her husband never expected to get such an outpouring of support -- and cash.
“We never expected to get as much as we did,” she told “Good Morning America.” “We were just so excited and thrilled (to) be able to tell her the next day.”
In a statement to the television program, Domino’s said they were grateful that “caring customers were able to help her transform her life so meaningfully.”
“Barbara is a beloved member of our family and she was recently honored with Team Member of the Year for 2022 within the company,” Domino’s added in its statement. “She is also a favorite of our customers and always has a smile on her face. We are very happy for her.”
When she fell, Gillespie said all she could think about was her injury, ruining the customer’s food, and the possibility of quitting work. Now, she is financially stable.
“I was either going to have operations, or I was going to have to quit work, and I just prayed and prayed and prayed,” Gillespie told WCIV. “When I fell, I was thinking, ‘I didn’t need this, this is going to make things so much worse,’ but then all of this happened, and what I want to say is God can take a bad situation and turn it into a good situation, he can bless people. If they would just trust in him.”
Lacey Keighron said she hopes the story will show how kindness can change a life.
“Even when someone else is having a bad day, just try to be kind,” she told The State. “You never know what kind of day they’re having.
“Every time we can reach out a helping hand, we should.”