Ellis Hill's son is competing in shot put in the Rio Olympics next week—and thanks to one of Hill's Uber passengers, Hill will be there to watch him do it. Hill was driving Liz Willock from the Philadelphia airport to her hotel last week when Willock mentioned that she knew someone competing in the Olympics. Hill then mentioned his son—but when Willock asked whether the proud father would be traveling to Brazil to watch, the Uber driver said he couldn't afford the trip. That's when Willock went into action, setting up a GoFundMe campaign to raise the estimated $7,500 Hill would need for travel, lodging, food, and other expenses. Hill's son, Darrell, shared it on social media, and within two days, the money had been raised.
Willock works for a global concierge service, and her company is helping arrange Hill's travel and logistics, NBC 10 reports. Uber even gave Hill a $1,000 ride credit for getting around in Rio, plus a $250 gift certificate for a meal at one of the best restaurants in the city. (In all, $8,200 was raised on GoFundMe, and donations have now been disabled.) Darrell Hill got his dad tickets to his event next Thursday, but the elder Hill still needs a passport (he has never traveled outside of the US before), so Willock is helping him get one expedited. She believes it will come through by the time his flight leaves Aug. 15: "There’s been a lot of magic through this whole process," she says. "It’s really meant to be, I believe." (Read more uplifting news stories.)