“How did you get this number?”
“My brother gave it to me.”
“Oh, okay. I will go get your brother but I need some information.”
That was the conversation that started an odd but heartwarming relationship between a Jimmy John’s delivery driver, a worried sister and a veteran. The sister, Lisa Nagengast, posted about the interaction on Facebook afterwards.
Nagengast had called a number she thought was for a social worker, desperate to find transportation for her brother, a veteran named Greg Holeman, who was having complications from a surgery and needed to get to the ER fast.
The only catch was that she ended up calling Jimmy John’s, the sandwich shop. Not willing to turn away the distressed woman, the shop connected her to one of its delivery drivers — Hillmer — and he accepted the request.
“You could hear the distress in her voice,” Hillmer, a veteran himself, told The Columbus Telegram. “She was mostly worried about her brother and wanted to get him some help, so I am glad we were able to help out.”
“I felt good about doing it at the time because it was just the right thing to do. It feels good to have helped someone out. I had a fork in the road and it was a good choice that I made.”
“They went totally above and beyond,” Nagengast said. “You don’t see that anymore. Everybody is fighting over the political atmosphere. Two complete strangers stood up and said they were willing to help, and that means a lot.”
“There are not enough words to share to say how grateful I am to two individuals who went above and beyond their job description at Jimmy John’s.”
Nagengast and her brother weren’t the only grateful ones. An operating partner of Hillmer’s Jimmy John’s location, Sam Nixon, noticed. And so, too, did the founder of the company, Jimmy John Liautaud.
“They did a wonderful job,” Nixon said, “you can’t necessarily teach that. You’ve got it or you don’t. Those guys did that on their own accord and that’s what was so special about it. They stepped up.”
“This is what it’s all about. This is what built America,” Liautaud said, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. “It’s about helping each other out, helping each other win. We’re all one team, right? It’s beautiful, just beautiful. It just warms my heart.”
One good turn deserved another in the eyes of Liautaud, and he flew to Nebraska to gift Hillmer with a brand new Ford Escape to replace the run-down 1991 Chevy Cavalier that Hillmer had been sporting.
“I was very surprised when he called,” Hillmer said. “I’ve only ever seen pictures of him, interviews on TV, things like that. So it was really cool to be able to meet him, never thought that would happen.”
“I don’t even have the words to say really, it was an amazing thing when Jimmy called me and told me what he was going to do. It’s pretty emotional for me.”
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