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Inspiring Stories
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Selfless teen goes miles out of his way to deliver food to dying man


Facebook | Fair Use

Elizabeth Pardi - published on 10/27/18

Dalton Shaffer didn't think twice about serving a family in need.

When someone goes out of their way to perform an act of kindness, it’s especially encouraging when they reveal that they didn’t think twice about it — an uplifting reminder that there are truly honorable people in this world whose first instinct is to do good for others, no matter the inconvenience.

So when someone drives seven hours in the middle of the night to do a good deed, and that someone is a teenager who has to be at his second job in the morning but says he “really didn’t think twice about it,” you better believe it inspires hope in humanity. 

According to Today, earlier this month Dalton Shaffer, an 18-year-old manager of Steve’s Pizza in Battle Creek, Michigan, was working one evening at Steve’s Pizza when he received a phone call. It was David Dalke, a man 230 miles away in Indianapolis, Indiana, calling from the home of his daughter, Julie, and her husband, Rich, whose fight with cancer was quickly coming to a sorrowful end.

As Julie later explained in a Facebook post, she and Rich lived in Battle Creek 25 years ago and had fallen in love with the pizza at Steve’s. “I can’t possibly describe how delicious this pizza is, she wrote, “but several moves and all these years later, it is still the gold standard and we’ve never found a better pizza yet.”

The two of them had recently been planning a visit back to Battle Creek when Rich unexpectedly ended up in the ICU when his cancer took a turn for the worst. When he was sent home, he was put in hospice care to prepare for the end.

In an attempt to bring them some comfort since they’d had to cancel their trip, Julie’s thoughtful dad, David, dialed Steve’s Pizza and asked if they might be able to send their condolences to a former loyal customer.

In response, Dalton, the manager on duty, asked what toppings Julie and Rich enjoyed. Even though Steve’s is a carryout joint that doesn’t deliver, Dalton told David he’d drive a couple pizzas out to Indianapolis after he closed the restaurant at 10 p.m. “When I rolled into the driveway at about 2:30, 2:40, the family was waiting up for me,” Dalton told Today. “The dad … came out and he gave me a big hug.”

The teen graciously declined David’s offer to get him a hotel room for the night, and then got back into his car and drove three and a half hours back home in time for a morning shift at his second job.

Of his good deed, Dalton simply said that he didn’t think twice about it. Also, he declared, “I just would, like anybody reading … to just think of the family … [and] pray for them. They’re going to be going through a hard time.”

In a society where teens are sadly labeled as being self-centered, Dalton absolutely shatters the stereotype in the most admirable way. He makes us all feel, as Julie put it, “beyond overwhelmed and humbled by this act of genuine kindness.”
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