Tom Wynkoop was making special deliveries during the severe snowstorms blanketing the U.S. this past week. But his door-to-door service recently underwent an expansion beyond the pizzas sold at his restaurant, Fox’s Pizza Den.
Instead of his usual fare, Wynkoop offered to deliver prescription medications to local residents who couldn’t leave their homes during the snowy conditions, and he did so even if they weren’t pizza delivery customers.
“If you have any medical history that involves respiratory issues PLEASE PLEASE do not attempt to leave the house. Do to the extreme weather conditions please call my cell phone and I will do everything in my power to have things brought to you (medications, food, etc...) NO FOOD ORDERING REQUIRED,” the Ligonier, Penn., store manager wrote on his company’s Facebook page.
“It’s been a great response. We’ve helped about a dozen people. It’s been a success for us,” Wynkoop told Yahoo News in a phone interview on Wednesday.
So, what motivated Wynkoop to take on the special deliveries? He said Ligonier is primarily an elderly community and he didn't want residents with respiratory conditions venturing out into the harsh conditions.
"The snow wasn’t the issue. It was minus 12 degrees with a wind chill factor of minus 30," he said. As you get older, your lungs are not as healthy as they used to be."
And while he says he's received plenty of thanks from the community, the story has since taken on a new angle.
“What’s unique is the great response we’ve gotten from this," he said. "We’ve had people call in and make donations to us from California, Arizona and other states. We’re just dumbfounded.”
Wynkoop said he wasn't actually trying to raise money and at first wasn't sure what to do with the unexpected cash flow. However, he and his staff noticed that the local chapter of Meals on Wheels was also out in the cold weather making deliveries.
"We're going to match the donations and give it to them," he said. "We just did it to be part of our community. Help somebody that needs help. Don’t be afraid."