The Opening Ceremony for 2016’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, kicked off on Friday (Aug. 5), and thanks to a good samaritan, Uber driver Ellis Hill got a chance to see his son, Darrell Hill play in the shot put competition.
But this wasn’t a future reality earlier this year. Due to a financial strain, the retired bus driver was unable to fund a trip to Rio to witness his son on sporting’s main stage. But during a 60 minute ride with passenger Liz Willock in Philadelphia, Penn., he shared with her his wish.
“When I told her about my son she was really amazed, but when she asked me if I was going over there to watch him, I said I really couldn’t afford it,” Hill said in an interview with PEOPLE. In response, Willock said she was “devastated” to hear Hill’s story and asked him, “If I could get you a ticket would you go?” Hill swiftly said, “Oh my goodness, I don’t even know you!” But Willock trusted Hill’s story and responded, “I believe you and I were fated to meet and I’m going to make this happen.”
With a GoFundMe page that raised $7,500 to cover Hill’s traveling expenses, the cheerful man fulfilled his dream to root for his son in Rio. On the success of the campaign, Willock said, “There has been so much sadness and violence in the news lately and this really restored my faith in humanity.”
Hill also shared his elation in the good deed that Willock sparked. “Liz was only a stranger for five minutes. We talk all the time now and I know we’re going to be friends for a long time.”
Would like to personally thank everyone who donated to help my Dad get to Rio, we achieved our goal. God is Good. #Thankful
— Darrell Hill (@B1GHomie) August 1, 2016