An Uber Eats delivery driver has received thousands in donations after he posted a heartbreaking video begging for help due to him facing the prospect of homelessness and, of course, it's opened so many eyes...
Because right now, times are harder than ever.
Thanks to the global pandemic, millions of jobs and livelihoods have been either put on the line or completely destroyed in the last year.
So many businesses have had to close their doors for good due to the lack of income...
Resulting in a scarily high number of unemployment.
People all around the world have had to pick up temporary jobs in grocery stores and warehouses in order to make ends meet...
But one of the most in-demand jobs out there right now is, of course, a food delivery driver.
Ordering takeout food is more popular than ever...
And drivers for popular delivery services such as Uber Eats and DoorDash have found themselves working harder than ever during these turbulent times.
But just because they've been kept busy with non-stop orders...
Doesn't mean they're not struggling.
Many delivery drivers are paid a notoriously low wage by the companies they work for...
And often, they have to rely on tips to make ends meet - especially here in the United States.
Well, this harsh reality has just been outlined by an emotional and exhausted Uber Eats delivery driver...
And his tearful message about how he's facing homelessness due to his small wage and lack of tips has gotten people seriously talking.
Riley Elliot, who is from Seattle, has been working hard as an Uber Eats delivery driver for the last few months...
And he posted an emotional video on TikTok to outline how much of a struggle it really is to be working as a delivery driver during these hard times.
"I wish that people who order Uber Eats and Doordash understood what it's like to be a driver," he started by saying.
Wiping away tears, he then said:
"I just spent forty-five minutes on a delivery and I had to pay $3 to bring this person their food because there was no free parking near their building and they refused to come out and meet me."
"They tipped me $1.50 and Uber paid me $2.50 like, I gotta proof 3 times the rent for income in 2 weeks and I can't! And it doesn't matter that I'm working multiple jobs, it doesn't matter that I barely sleep and can barely afford to feed myself."
Riley then explained that he's facing homelessness for the third time.
"I'm about to be homeless for the 3rd time since May and it's all because people don't tip their delivery drivers. Like, how hard is it to throw us 5 bucks?"
After Riley posted his emotional message on TikTok, it was soon shared on Twitter which resulted in it being viewed and shared by more than 61,000 people...
Everyone is asking me for a gofundme. We don’t need a gofundme, but I’ve created one to support other gig economy workers during this tough time. Everything donated to this fund will go to delivery drivers in need! https://t.co/m13lt4RqYW— Riley Elliot (@livefreestudios) February 20, 2021
Along with his Venmo and Cashapp information.
He also created a GoFundMe page to help other delivery drivers who are also struggling.
Riley has since received thousands in donations...
And in a follow-up video, the driver thanked everyone for their generosity and explained that he is now able to rent a house and pay off bills, alongside helping out a friend in need who is in a similar situation to himself.
Riley is also distributing the donations to other causes.
We have a chance to make a real change! These companies relying on gig workers during a pandemic and paying nothing should be held accountable. If you are *able* to tip, in the mean time, it’s what we have to live on. It’s an exploitative system that only benefits the company. https://t.co/sSiqVo7wG2— Riley Elliot (@livefreestudios) February 21, 2021
Speaking to the Seattle Times, he said he has been able to give away $12,000 to help other people who could not afford to pay their bills. Other donations have been sent to Texas, where snowstorms have plunged people into power outages.
"The last 2 days have just been me living my dream of being able to help people in need."
He then said:
The donations y’all have sent have helped so many people already. The average donation is $10 or less & most folks asking for help only need $100 or less for their world to change. It is heartbreaking that so many are struggling and the US gov it taking it’s sweet time on relief— Riley Elliot (@livefreestudios) February 20, 2021
"My whole body has just been buzzing with positive energy from all of these people. I get choked up because I've been bullied my whole life and people actually appreciate how hard I'm trying. It means a lot."
Of course, alongside the support came the criticisms, with many reminding Riley to blame the huge corporate companies he's working for rather than the customers who don't tip.
The delivery driver agreed that it is not entirely the fault of people who don't tip, but he said the main issue is society's assumption that much of a service worker's income is based on tips.
"It is absolutely the fault of these companies like DoorDash and Uber who don't pay their drivers very much, who charge extreme delivery fees and only pay their drivers $2."
You can watch Riley's original video here:
And let's hope that the awareness of delivery driver's working conditions and pay continues to spread.