Watch a Kansas delivery driver receive a $500 tip

A sweet video showing a down-on-his-luck DoorDash delivery person getting a $500 tip from a Wichita lawyer was circulating around Wichita on Monday afternoon.

And the tip giver says he’s not finished surprising people yet.

The video, taken by Tyler Patterson of Patterson Legal Group and posted on the businesses’ Facebook page, was shot on Thursday and features Hunter Schmeidler, an 18-year-old from Arkansas City who had taken the delivery job after losing his job as a CNA at a nursing home.

Schmeidler and his fiance, Breeanna, have a 7-month-old son, he said, and earlier on Thursday, they weren’t sure where they were going to get rent money for the month.

“Just the timing of it… both me and my fiance felt like it was fate and a boost of hope,” Schmeidler said on Monday.

Tyler Patterson, who runs Patterson Legal Group with his father, Gary, said that they wanted to help people who were suffering during the coronavirus pandemic. He’d seen YouTube videos of delivery drivers being surprised with big tips and thought he could do something similar.

On Thursday, Patterson ordered salmon and a fattoush salad from LeMonde via DoorDash, and Schmeidler got the call.

The video shows front porch camera footage of Schmeidler approaching with the bags and ringing the doorbell.

Patterson answers the door and asks Schmeidler for permission to record him. He asks why and Patterson explains his plan.

The viewer can then almost see Schmeidler’s heart rate increase as he expresses disbelief.

“Oh you guys are joking. Please tell me you’re joking. You don’t understand. That’s not even funny,” Schmeidler says. “You’re going to seriously make me cry, and I don’t cry.”

He goes on to tell Patterson that his rent is due the next day and asks if there’s anything he can do for Patterson to thank him.

“These aren’t the kinds of things that happen to people like me,” he says.

Patterson Legal Group, a personal injury firm known for its TV ads with the tagline “In a wreck? Need a check,” is using money from the business for the tips, Tyler said.

Tyler Patterson said he’s already filmed another surprise tip giveaway since then and will post it soon. He doesn’t know how long he and his father will keep it up, he said, but they like the way it feels.

“People in the community are struggling right now,” he said. “We could either be putting our money just in commercials or we could be also giving it directly to people where it can really do some good.”

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.

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