Amidst all the stories of crime and corruption in Rio, here’s a feel-good one: A super-proud Uber driver is going to get the trip of a lifetime to go see his son compete in the Olympics, and it’s all thanks to the idea of one passenger and the kindness of many others.
Darrell Hill is a member of Team USA’s Track and Field contingent competing in the shot put. Like a lot of Olympians, he’s technically an amateur, and competed for Penn State when he was a student. His dad, Ellis, is a retired bus driver who now spends some of his time working as an Uber driver. While Ellis is super excited that his son made the Olympic team, he had always assumed he’d be watching with friends and family at home in Pennsylvania. But then he picked up Liz Willock, who works in the travel industry sending medical trial participants around the world. And she knew just what to do: create a GoFundMe account!
Amazingly, after only nine days they’ve exceeded their goal amount, and with Track and Field not really starting until the second week of the Olympics, there’s plenty of time to get Ellis down to Brazil to watch his son.
Big thanks to Liz Willock and the generosity of 152 people, most of whom have never met Darrell or Ellis. The story of these Olympics themselves might wind up being one of history’s saddest as Brazil fails to use the events to better the lives of its citizens, but at least amidst all the disappointment there are some moments of goodness.