When she took a peek inside, she almost fell to the floor. She had a hard time grasping what she was seeing with her own eyes. But what made things worse is the fact that it had taken her this long to notice. She’d known this man for years, as he’d often come to her house. But she could’ve never imagined what his living conditions looked like. Now that she had finally realized, she just knew she needed to do something about it.
Angela Nguyen would’ve never ever thought she’d cross the line and meddle in any of her customers’ lives. Angela works as a Domino’s pizza delivery driver, so when she interacts with customers, it barely lasts a few minutes. Even though she’s super friendly and personable, (which always helps her get better tips) she doesn’t really spend too much time engaging with a customer when she delivers their pizzas. But one of her customers, Lee Haase, was definitely the exception.
76-year-old Lee Haase has been ordering pizza from Domino’s forever. According to the staff at Ham Lake Domino’s Pizza, Lee has been placing an order every Saturday at 10:15. But this type of customer loyalty isn’t really that uncommon, especially if the customer is elderly or is homebound. Calling Domino’s to order a delicious pizza is super easy, cheap, and reliable. So, after a while, Lee became a part of Domino’s staff’s lives. Sadly, no one knew what was going on behind closed doors.
Angela and Sarah Hughes, her daughter, are mainly the two drivers who take care of delivering pizzas to Lee. They’ve been working at Domino’s for years, so they’ve gotten used to him, and kind of see him as a friend. Despite having been at Lee’s doorsteps for years, they’ve never really seen the inside of his house. One day, Sarah delivered a pizza at Lee’s house, when suddenly, he had to get back in to get some change. That’s when she got a chance to take a peek inside the house. She gasped at what she was seeing.
After a powerful storm had ruined the roof of Lee’s former house, the elderly man had been forced to move into a 12-foot camper since the previous fall. Angela and Sara believed his living conditions were only temporary until Lee would be able to save some money to move out and fix his roof. But when Sara saw the way he was living inside the camper, she realized Lee’s situation was extremely complicated.
A strong smell was reeking off of Lee’s camper, and there was a lot of clutter and mess surrounding the doorway. The interior was dark and really cold, and as Sara quickly found out, all of the lights were off. She asked Lee about his living conditions. Lee finally revealed the truth. He was living without any heat, electricity, or plumbing. Sara was dumbfounded and couldn’t believe how he managed to live like that. Soon, she found out how this ended up happening.
After the storm rummaged his house, Lee was forced to evacuate the premises. Then, his son died in a tragic snowmobile accident. Lee found himself homeless, grieving, and completely broke. In a way, he’d lost the will to live, and he simply let himself go. Living in squalor was the result of experiencing tragedy after tragedy. But every Saturday, Lee continued to order Domino’s pizzas, the only thing that comforted and brought some joy. Sara quickly wanted to help.
Sara told Angela about Lee’s secret living conditions. Angela was understandably surprised that she’d never realized what Lee was going through. But she wasn’t about to stay still. She said, "I thought we got to do something. We can't let a human being live like this." She was determined to take action and help Lee out.
First, Angela purchased Lee his own heater, as she didn’t want him to go through another night feeling cold, particularly when temperatures would start to drop. But she knew he needed so much more, as he was living in precarious conditions. She was only earning a humble salary as a pizza delivery driver, so she really didn’t have the means to do more. But Sara quickly thought of something.
Angela went on to set up a GoFundMe campaign to tell the world about Lee’s situation, and how much he needed everyone’s help after the many tragedies he’d experienced in life. People from all over the world quickly empathized with the man, and donations started pouring in. Angela was amazed, and she explained, "We got donations from as far as Australia.” But two months later, Lee was about to get the shock of his life.
Soon enough, the GoFundMe campaign raised $32,000, which was more than enough to purchase a new trailer home for Lee. Angela called for the Ham Lake community to reunite and help Lee out, and together, they ended up fully furnishing his trailer thanks to the many donations received. His bathroom and pantry were fully stocked, and when Christmas arrived, they were ready to show Lee his new house.
Dozens of volunteers, along with Sara and Angela took Lee to his new house, which he hadn’t seen at this point. His new living accommodations were bigger than his previous trailer. As a matter of fact, his new bedroom was the size of his old camper. They also placed a sign above the bed that read, “Joy, hope, love, peace, believe.” Lee was completely astonished.
Sara hugged Lee and said, “You remember when this started and I promised you we were going to help you?” Then she told him, “Merry Christmas.” Lee was visibly emotional, and couldn’t really understand how all of this came to be. He was holding back tears and emotionally said, “It's wonderful. I'm so grateful for the people doing this.” But Angela soon confessed that this wasn’t such a selfless act.
Angela confessed that, “Every single one of us enjoyed doing this.” She kept saying, “This ain't all for Lee. We all benefited.” As a matter of fact, helping someone out and spreading the love makes you feel better instantly. Lee now considers all these volunteers, “his new extended family.” Funny enough, it all started with two kind pizza delivery drivers, Angela and Sara. But that wasn’t the only good deed a Domino’s employee has ever done.
Employees at a Domino’s Pizza in Salem, Oregon, grew really concerned when a customer who used to order regularly hadn’t really placed an order in 11 days. They decided to go to his house to check up on him, and ended up calling 911 when there was no response. The police entered the house and found him on the floor. The man had suffered a stroke. They quickly took him to the hospital, and it was thanks to these Domino’s employees, the man ended up recovering.