How Seattle Sounders, MLS followers rallied to help supply driver following viral video

When he climbed back into his automobile within the midst of his meals supply shift last week, Riley Elliot had no intention of going viral.

Elliot was merely at his wits’ end following a supply the place he ended up shedding cash after having to pay to park his automobile and not receiving a tip. In order to get approval for housing, he wanted to have the ability to prove that his income met a required threshold and deliveries like this with no tip meant he would not have the ability to do that. His stress and frustration at a boiling point, Elliot took out his cellphone and began filming a video that he shared on his TikTok channel, which on the time had 9 followers.

“It does not matter that I am working a number of jobs, it does not matter that I hardly ever sleep and can barely afford to feed myself,” Elliot says within the video. “I’m about to be homeless for the third time since Could, and it is all as a result of folks do not tip their supply drivers.”

It’s a well-known feeling to many gig staff, particularly as many all through the country try to make ends meet in an financial system devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a moment that captured visibly uncooked emotion.

“I feel that’s why it’s resonating with folks,” Elliot advised this week. “As a result of I’m not the primary supply driver to post a video like this.”

The video started to choose up traction on-line, and then vaulted within the national consciousness when it was uploaded to Twitter by a San Diego-based playwright named Christian St. Croix, who included the caption “One thing must be achieved about this”.

One thing must be achieved about this.

— Christian St. Croix (@SaintsCrossing) February 17, 2021

The response from there was what Elliot describes as “overwhelming.” The tweet went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views, and donations started pouring in from across the world to his Venmo and CashApp accounts from individuals who felt solidarity with the battle and wished to assist. 

Amongst these to take be aware have been the Seattle Sounders, who noticed that Elliot was sporting considered one of their jerseys within the video. Elliot is from Seattle initially (though he’s at the moment primarily based in Las Vegas) and is a die-hard Sounders supporter courting back to their days as a USL membership. Rising up, he attended video games at Memorial Stadium and was there in particular person to witness the Sounders win the 2019 MLS Cup, which he says is considered one of his fondest memories.

“We hear you and we’re with you, Riley,” the Sounders wrote in a quote-tweet of the video. “On behalf of our Sounders Household, the membership has sent a donation by way of Venmo. Let’s continue to be variety and glorious to one another.”

We hear you and we’re with you, Riley.

On behalf of our Sounders Household, the membership has sent a donation by way of Venmo. Let’s continue to be variety and glorious to one another. 💚💙

— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) February 18, 2021

“I felt so grateful,” Elliot said of the gesture. “Once I posted the video I didn’t suppose anybody was going to see it, I assumed it was just going to be my 9 friends, not to mention take into account what I used to be sporting within the video. [The jersey] just occurred to be the shirt I put on that day.”

However what Elliot says was much more sudden was the following help he acquired from the remainder of the MLS group. Followers of different teams additionally sent him donations and messages, even these of Western Conference rivals, together with Seattle’s most-bitter foe within the Portland Timbers.

He acquired a message from one Timbers fan that learn: “Enemy within the stands, nothing however love all over the place else.”

“I feel out of all of the messages I acquired, [the Timbers] one specifically has caught out to me,” Elliot said. “I’ve said consistently to my fiancé and friends: It’s so cool that the MLS group is coming collectively in the way in which they’re, that even our greatest rival team, all as a result of I used to be sporting a jersey all the way in which from 2009 and anyone observed and said one thing.”

Elliot says that the outpouring of help he’s acquired and the platform he’s been given from the publicity of the video has impressed him to maintain the broader dialog going concerning the gig financial system, particularly throughout a pandemic the place their work has by no means been extra important. However he’s additionally making an attempt to do what he can to continue making a tangible distinction within the meantime.

He’s donated among the cash he’s acquired to numerous different causes, together with individuals who need assistance paying their payments or cash for medicine or have been affected by the latest winter storms and energy outages in Texas.

Elliot has additionally helped set up a GoFundMe particularly to help fellow supply drivers, and says {that a} web site is in progress the place drivers will have the ability to get a request type with the final word goal of sending out the identical amount of cash to everybody.

“We haven’t decided what that amount goes to be however in order to achieve as many individuals as we will, it’s going to be a set amount that shall be distributed,” Elliot said. “We’re making an attempt to determine out how one can do all that working with organizations which were doing this for some time now to determine out the best method to do that, in order that we’re doing this the best approach.”


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