It was a seemingly normal evening of work for Pizza Time delivery driver Nicole Carroll when she was making a delivery to Cornerstone Community Church on Nov. 28 in Puyallup.
“I assumed the pastor was ordering a pizza for after the service,” the 34-year-old Carroll said.
When she arrived, Carroll stood in the back for about a minute and a half while the service was going on. Then Troy Asher, the church’s pastor, called her forward in front of the congregation and told her the only thing he had was a $100 bill to pay for the one pizza.
“He told me to keep the change, then he asked if I had a minute,” she said.
While Carroll was standing in the front of the sanctuary, she saw one of her Pizza Time coworkers sitting in the pew, assuming he was there with his family. Not knowing what was about to happen, Carroll hesitantly agreed to stand there for another minute with Asher. Knowing that her manager back at Pizza Time was tracking how long she had been gone, she started to get antsy.
But the generosity of keeping the change on a small bill didn’t stop there. Asher said he had been praying about blessing a single mom or a student working full time, and Carroll fit the criteria of both. She has two teenage children and is studying accounting at Tacoma Community College.
The church ended up giving Carroll an $1,886 tip.
“I saw a church do something similar years ago,” Asher said. “I thought it would go perfect with our November series.”
Two weeks prior, the congregation at C3 pitched in for a special offering to bless someone in their community.
“I wasn’t sure how much we would get,” Asher said. “So the elders decided to match up to $500 of what was collected from the congregation.”
The donation kept growing from the congregation, and totaled out to $1,300. Combined with the $500 from the church, Asher knew there would be plenty to make Carroll’s holidays a little brighter.
While Carroll has already bought her 14- and 15 year-old kids their Christmas presents and is planning to visit Wyoming to see her mother for the first time in six years later this month in addition to planning a move to Orting in the coming months, she says the nearly $1,900 tip is sitting in savings and is providing cushion should any unexpected expenses come up during her family’s drive or their move.
“I want to make sure the church knows that I’m ever so grateful,” said Carroll, a Puyallup resident. “I want to continue paying (forward) the same kindness they showed me.”
While Carroll is grateful for C3’s kindness, Asher says it’s all part of what the church is supposed to do.
“We just love doing stuff like this,” he said. “It’s in our DNA. It’s what we’re supposed to be doing as followers of Jesus.”
The story of Asher’s church giving Carroll the tip of a lifetime has gone viral on social media both in the local community, and is spreading. Carroll says that since making the delivery on Nov. 28, now when she goes to deliver pizzas, she is known as “the pizza lady.”