Local Pizza Deliverer Receives New Car From Loyal Customers
Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Jason Graves
Robert Peters, a Pizza Hut delivery employee, is so popular with his customers in Tipton, they raised money to buy him a new car.
“I’ve never felt more blessed,” Peters says. “I truly love my customers, and I was really touched by their kindness. I’ve been a local pizza deliverer for the last 31 years. I always go out of my way to deliver all of my customers a free smile and a nice word. I’m known as Mr. Smiles. I think a lot of people need a friendly face and a smile these days, especially with COVID-19 and all of the craziness in the world these days. I think this was their way of paying me back.”
Peters, 58, loves his new car, a red 2017 Chevy Malibu.
“Tanner Langley, who lives in Tipton, was the man who started the fundraiser,” Peters says. “I’ve known him since he was a kid, and I know his family very well. He knew my 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera was getting up there. I had put more than 250,000 miles on my car, and it was time to get a new one. The timing of me getting a new car was perfect.”
Langley, 28, said it was the least he and the Tipton community could do to repay all the kindness Peters has given them over the years.
“I started a GoFundMe page to get people to donate money for a new car for Robert,” Langley says. “Our campaign goal was $12,000. We called the fundraiser ‘Driving Miles with Mr. Smiles.’ We wound up raising $16,000 in only four days. We eventually raised over $18,000. The people of Tipton really went out of their way to show their kindness to Robert, and show him how much he means to them. He loves the car.”
Langley says Peters is the kind of person who truly cares about others, and wants to boost a person’s spirits, especially during tough times.
“We thought it was our turn to really thank him for the kindness he has shown over the years,” Langley says. “He deserves it. He has given a smile and a nice word to people when they really need both, especially these days.”
Peters was thrilled the car was a Chevy Malibu.
“Tanner is a wonderful person,” Peters says. “What Tanner did really reaffirms what a great person he is. I’ve known Tanner and his family for many years. What he and the Tipton community did really made me feel good. They take care of me with their tips, and I’ve made a lot of nice friends over the years.”
Peters adds that many customers tell him he is the only friendly face they see all day.
“They have told me that seeing me really made their day,” Peters says. “The car they gave me was not just a material thing. It went straight to my heart. I hope I can pay back the kindness that Tanner and the Tipton community have shown me. God bless Tanner and Tipton.”
Peters says he was also blessed to have his story featured on CBS News.
“That was pretty awesome to be in a story on national news,” Peters says. “Some of my customers have talked about how they loved seeing me on CBS. I told them that when I was being interviewed for the story, it felt like we were filming a movie. My customers have been treating me very well and giving me good tips.”