The word is out in Seal Beach: If you want doughnuts at Donut City, get there early. The Southern California shop is usually sold out and closed by noon, sometimes by 10. But as the Orange County Register explains, it's not because of some exotic new flavor. It's because longtime patrons learned that the woman who has run the place with her husband for nearly 30 years is ill—and they're buying in bulk so her husband can spend more time with her. "Oh, I feel warm, very appreciative," says John Chhan, whose 63-year-old wife, Stella, suffered a brain aneurysm in September and is recuperating in a rehab facility.
The customers began organizing after longtime patron Dawn Caviola learned about Stella's illness on a recent visit. "I went home and I just couldn't get it out of my head," Caviola tells NBC News. "I have never done anything like that before, but I just thought if everyone can just buy a dozen doughnuts, it might help him out." She blogged about her idea on the community network site Nextdoor, and it took off. John Chhan actually turned down the idea of a GoFundMe site on the couple's behalf—he'd prefer the extra time with his wife rather than donations. (A woman couldn't shake her worries about a fellow hiker, and that turned out to be a great thing.)