After 22-year-old Darren Hill qualified in his first Olympics in the shot put, he wasn't sure if his father, Ellis Hill, could afford to travel to Rio de Janeiro to see him compete. That all changed when a stranger kindly intervened — and it all began with an Uber ride.
The elder Hill, a retired bus driver, now drives for the popular ride-sharing app. On a July 26 trip from Philadelphia International Airport to New Jersey, he told passenger Liz Willock about his son qualifying for the USA Olympics Track and Field team, but being financially unable to see him compete in Rio.
Willock, a sales leader at a concierge service that specializes in travel, felt compelled to make a difference.
"She asked me, 'If I could get you a ticket would you go?' " Hill told People. "And I said, 'Oh my goodness ,I don't even know you!' "
Willock set up a GoFundMe page to raise $7,500 to send Hill to the Olympics to see his son represent Team USA. More than 150 people — most of them strangers — contributed to the fund as the word got out.
Two days later, when Hill was leaving church, he discovered that the GoFundMe goal had been reached and that he'd be going to Rio to see his son.
"It's going to mean a whole lot to me," Hill told Philadelphia television station WCAU. "Many times, I really wanted to be with him on other meets that he was at, you know, and had to apologize for one reason or another, and this is actually what he's been working toward for a long time. It's going to be extremely awesome for me to experience this."
Hill also told People that he and Willock will "be friends for a long time."
(H/T: People)<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->