A pizza deliveryman brought more than a pepperoni pie to one Florida grandmother—he delivered a sigh of relief to her family nearly 1,700 miles away.
As Floridians and other southern states—Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina—prepared for Hurricane Matthew and its impact, Claire Olsen’s family worried about her safety, given that the octogenarian lives alone in Palm Coast, Florida.
The rest of the Olsen family resides in Omaha, Nebraska, and last spoke to Claire on Oct. 7, when she said that her home had lost power. Family members grew increasingly concerned when they hadn’t heard from Claire in two days and were unable to get in contact with law enforcement.
However, her 17-year-old grandson, Eric Olsen, came up with an unconventional plan to get in contact with her on Oct. 9.
From his residence in Nebraska, Eric contacted a Papa John’s in Flagler County to deliver a pie to his grandmother, effectively conducting a welfare check.
“I was just thinking, ‘Who can go there right now? Who can I call in a city where I know no one?’,” Eric told ABC News.”So I just said, ‘I’m going to order her a pizza, and if they can deliver it, then I know she’s alive.'”
Pizza deliveryman Lance Tyler was given specific instructions once he was to arrive at Claire’s home, which included contacting Eric so he can hear his grandmother’s voice. Tyler knocked on Claire’s door, but she was reluctant to open the door because she hadn’t ordered a takeout.
“He knocked on the door and said ‘Delivery.’ I said, ‘I didn’t order anything.’ He says, ‘Your grandson did,'” Claire told WFTV. “(My grandson said) ‘Grandma, I haven’t talked to you in two days. I got worried about you. You must be hungry by now.”
Eric said he felt “relief, absolute relief” when he heard his grandmother’s voice.
“Police and fire couldn’t do it, but Papa John’s got there in 30 minutes and put the cellphone to her ear,” he joked to ABC.
The lengths Eric went to contact his grandmother was much appreciated by both Claire and Tyler, who described the moment as better than any monetary tip he has ever received.
Power has since been restored in Claire’s home, and as for the pepperoni pie—she said it was “fantastic.”