When an elderly pizza delivery driver tripped and fell on a family’s front patio, the couple rushed to her aid. Saddened that the 73-year-old was still working to support herself, they went the extra mile and kick-started a fundraiser to help the woman.
Lacey, 33, and her husband Kevin Keighron, 34, are both first responders who live in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, with their five children aged 2 to 12. The whole family was looking forward to Domino’s pizza on Feb. 2 when 73-year-old great-grandmother, Barbara Gillespie, showed up at their door.
Laden with food boxes, Gillespie lost her footing.
“On the video, it looks like she kinda stubbed her foot on the edge of the patio,” Lacey told The Epoch Times. “She didn’t lift her foot up enough, and [being] elderly, it’s really hard to even catch yourself after something like that. She took a pretty hard fall on the patio.”
Kevin was already on his way to collect the pizza when Gillespie fell as he’d received a notification on the app. He rushed to her aid—as a first responder, he knew to stand close but allow Gillespie to take the lead in steadying herself—while Lacey came downstairs to check what happened.
The three eldest children saw Gillespie’s fall on the doorbell camera and were very concerned. “Our kids don’t like seeing anyone get hurt,” Lacey said. “Our four-year-old was extremely concerned she asked about her every day.”
After making sure Gillespie was okay and seeing her off, Lacey and Kevin got to thinking. They found out that Gillespie is technically retired, on social security benefits, but still has to work to make ends meet.
Lacey said: “My husband’s dad and my dad both have recently passed away from cancer … the sad fact is that both of them worked up until shortly before they passed away … so when we saw this happen [to] Barbara, it just really resonated with us.”
The mother of five posted the doorbell camera footage on TikTok and started a GoFundMe page. She said: “I only had a couple of friends on TikTok, so I thought maybe we’d share it around to our friends and get a couple of donations.”
(Video credit: Newsflare)
Lacey had hoped to raise enough money so that Gillespie could get “a couple of days off work.” However, within hours, the fund had raised $50,000. At the time of writing, it has raised over $240,000.
The day after Gillespie’s fall, the Keighrons went to the Domino’s eatery where she works, bearing gifts, to share the amazing news with her.
Lacey said: “[Our kids] were so worried about her, and when I told them that we were going to give her flowers and candy as a surprise, they were so excited; they had to hold the flowers, they had to hold the candy!”
Gillespie had suffered from knee pain and some scrapes on her right knee and elbow. According to Newsflare, Domino’s awarded Gillespie with their Employee of the Year award in recognition of her efforts, and, on becoming aware of the Keighrons’ mammoth fundraiser, she was lost for words.
Lacey shared footage and told The Epoch Times: “We posted a video of her reaction for the first $50,000, and she was honestly just speechless … we just let her know it was okay not to have the words, we weren’t looking for some huge reaction, but she’s so beyond thankful.”
(Courtesy of Lacey Keighron)
The reaction that Kacey has received has been mostly positive.
“Ninety-nine percent of everyone who has watched it and commented has been so kind,” Lacey said. “There is that one percent that’s given us a little bit of grief, a little bit of harassment, accused us of being scammers, or of Barbara being my husband’s aunt or my mom … none of that is true, we have never met Barbara before.”
Lacey even shared her family’s Domino’s order and the receipts online in response to the accusations, however, she’s now decided to focus on the positive, saying, “For that one percent I just delete and even block the people, because we don’t want that interrupting our peace and the kindness that this has brought.”
Lacey and Kevin have since invited Gillespie to their house for a live TikTok Q&A with their followers. The grateful great-grandmother was happy to answer questions on how she was doing and if she was planning to retire soon.
For Lacey, the experience has reminded her that no matter how much suffering we see, there is always good in this world if we look for it. She hopes others play their part in looking out for the elderly.
“A lot of times they do have kids, and they do have family … but they don’t have the same sense of security as other generations did on retirement because of the way that our economy is changing,” Lacey said. “So look out for your elderly, help them carry something to a door, help them pay for a meal if you can. Tell them that you’re thinking about them, whatever it may be, but just look out for people.”