An Uber Eats delivery driver who was on the brink of homelessness has received enough donations to pay off his bills and move into a new home.
Riley Elliot, from Seattle, US, went viral this week after sharing a heartbreaking video of himself in tears, begging customers to tip their delivery drivers.
In the TikTok, he explained that a customer had refused to come down to receive their order, which meant he had to pay $3 for parking.
‘Y’all I wish that people who order Uber Eats or Doordash understood what it’s like to be a driver,’ he said, explaining that Uber would pay him $2.50 for the delivery, which took 45 minutes. As the customer had only tipped him $1.50, plus his parking fee, Elliot would only make $1 from the job.
The video was later shared on Twitter, along with Elliot’s Venmo and Cashapp information.
In a follow-up video, Elliot thanked people for their generosity, adding that he was now sharing out the donations.
‘Because of all of you and your generosity, we are going to be able to get into a house,’ he said.
Speaking to Seattle Times, Elliot said he has been able to give away $12,000 to help other people who could not afford to pay their bills. Other donations have been sent to Texas, where snowstorms have plunged people into power outages.
‘The last two days have just been me living my dream of being able to help people in need,’ he said.
‘My whole body has just been buzzing with positive energy from all of these people. I get choked up because I’ve been bullied my whole life and people actually appreciate how hard I’m trying. It means a lot,’ he added.
After Elliot shared his story, urging people to tip more, some internet users criticised him for blaming customers instead of big corporations.
The delivery driver agreed that it is not entirely the fault of people who don’t tip, but he said the main issue is society’s assumption that much of a service worker’s income is based on tips.
‘It is absolutely the fault of these companies like DoorDash and Uber who don’t pay their drivers very much, who charge extreme delivery fees and only pay their drivers $2,’ he said.