One Illinois couple’s act of kindness has caught the eye of hundreds of millions of TikTok viewers, after posting a video about how they went above and beyond to help a lost 80-year-old man who was driving from his home in Arizona to his son’s home in Wisconsin. Read on to find out more about their multiple incredible acts of kindness, and how the friendship continued on.
Illinois Couple Gets Lost 80-Year-Old Man to Wisconsin
Elton Hood and his then fiancé, Tracy Eckhart (now Tracy Hood) were stopped at a gas station in Woodhull, Illinois off of Interstate 74 in July of 2020 when Elton passed an old man carrying a piece of paper. Despite the fact that many people were avoiding interaction due to the pandemic, Elton smiled and asked the man how his day was going.
Elton said, “He was walking through there with a piece of paper in his hands and he had directions and I just said hi to him, asked him how his day was and he said well I’m lost again. And I thought again?”
Because of the lost 80-year-old man’s strange comment, Elton continued the conversation, and he learned that Dennis (the lost 80-year-old man) had not seen his son in 19 years, and he had been travelling for a week on his own from Arizona to Wisconsin, where his son lived. Apparently, Dennis had become lost multiple times, and some of the journeys off-course had led him hundreds of miles in the wrong direction.
Witnessing her fiancé’s interaction with the lost 80-year-old man, Tracy decided to record what was happening because she wanted Elton to see how kind and compassionate he is. But she ended up having to compile a bunch of videos in order to upload the whole story to Tiktok because the story didn’t end at that gas station.
@hoodsforgood I got a good one….his ❤️ amazes me. #fyp #foryoupage #stillgoodintheworld #elderly #elderlylove #armyvet #dontletthisflop #bethelight #marinevet ♬ If The World Was Ending – JP Saxe ft. Julia Michaels
Elton was concerned about the lost 80-year-old man taking the rest of his journey without some extra help; so he began by rewriting directions on a piece of paper for Dennis. Only after he did that, did he notice that Dennis’ car was a 2020 Toyota Tundra and it was likely the car could have its own navigation system.
Sure enough, it did; so Elton set up the route for Dennis through the Tundra’s navigation system. He also gave Dennis his phone number, and told him to give him and Tracy a call if he had any trouble on the remainder of his journey.
Shortly after Dennis had left the gas station, Elton and Tracy received a call from him. He was lost again, and Elton had an idea.
“I looked at Tracy and asked her if she was ready to make a trip to Wisconsin,” Elton explained. “She shrugged her shoulders and said whatever it is you feel like we need to do, let’s do it.”
They told Dennis to pull over, and they would meet him where he was. So off they went on to help Dennis get to Madison, Wisconsin. They led the way in their car and Dennis followed in his Tundra.
‘Neither one of us could bear the thought of – if we saw a missing persons alert or if something bad happened to him, if we had the potential to help turn this around and didn’t do it. That was just not going to work for either of us,’ Eckhardt said, WMTV reports.
The Illinois couple’s journey to help the lost 80-year-old man was posted through Tracy’s Tiktok account, hoodsforgood, and it went viral almost immediately.
Tracy said, “I was like how did this happen? I just posted it a couple hours ago… set my phone down and picked it back up and everything has changed.”
Today, the post is nearing 700,000 likes, more than 20,000 comments, and 17,000 shares.
Elton and Tracy helped Dennis to his family’s doorstep, and then returned home to Illinois. They kept in touch during the time that Dennis was with his family, but then they learned Dennis was planning to drive all the way back to his home in Arizona on his own…