Indiana Wesleyan surprises pizza delivery man with once-in-a-lifetime tip

MARION, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana Wesleyan University students gave a pizza delivery man the surprise of a lifetime on Wednesday morning.

James Gilpin thought it was a normal day at work when he delivered pizza to the university’s chapel service. But he soon found out it was all a part of a bigger plan to change his life for the better.

“We can do little things and when we’re gathered together, that little thing becomes a big thing of encouraging other people,” said Jim Lo with Indiana Wesleyan.

When Gilpin arrived with the pizzas the school had ordered, he realized something was happening when he was taken on stage. The speaker then announced the group was giving him a $1,268 tip.

“I was just in awe I really couldn’t say too much,” said Gilpin.

The chapel speaker had prompted students to pitch in and give Gilpin “the biggest tip of his life,” which included gift cards and thousands of encouraging notes.

“You got to be able to see what his reaction was — complete shock. It was so cool” said Bryce Mast, a student who was in the chapel service.

Gilpin said the gigantic tip came at a perfect time.

“There’s a lot of stuff that I need to do. Pay off some bills, fix some stuff. It couldn’t have been a better time because I was struggling bad,” said Gilpin.

Gilpin said his two children will now have a good Christmas, he can fix his car and roof. The kind words he’s still reading will stick with him for a lifetime.

“It just, I just couldn’t believe it that somebody could be so nice to people out there,” said Gilpin. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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