Every day for nearly 30 years, John and Stella Chhan have stood side-by-side behind the counter at their Donut City shop in Seal Beach, California. But, in recent weeks, faithful customers began to notice Stella hasn’t been around.
They soon learned that Stella had suffered an aneurysm and is undergoing rehab, according to KCAL. John, who needs the money from their business, works at the shop every day and rushes to the rehabilitation facility quickly after closing to be with his wife.
So, the customers decided to step in to help the beloved couple.
“They’re such sweet, hard-working people,” Dawn Caviola, a Donut City regular, told the Orange County Register. “I thought, if enough people would buy a dozen donuts every morning, he could close early and go be with his wife.”
Ever since, the shop, which opens at 4:10 a.m. each day, sells out by noon — hours before its 2 p.m. close time, the Washington Post reported. And 62-year-old John is able to be with Stella, 63, at the rehabilitation facility.
“I feel very warm. I can just say, ‘Thank you very much,’ ” John told KCAL, noting that Stella is improving but has a long road to recovery ahead. “She can talk, she can write. Right now she’s trying to start to eat something.”
The customers use newsletters and word-of-mouth to encourage the public to buy the donuts by the dozen, according to KCAL.
Not only has the good deed helped John, its done wonders for the community.
“This is something that’ll warm your heart,” one customer told the station. “It’s unfortunate what happened to his wife. But I really believe that something like this, bringing the community together, is just something we really need right now.”
Another added: “It’s a blessing. We need more people like that to help people out in what ever need they have.”
Stella suffered the aneurysm at a wedding party on Sept. 22, experiencing dizziness and becoming disoriented at the event, according to the Register. A brain scan revealed the bulging artery and Stella was unconscious for two weeks before finally being able to speak again.
As she remained in rehab, customers offered to set up a GoFundMe page for the Chhan’s, but John declined, according to the Register.
“He said he has enough money,” Caviola recalled to the publication. “He just wants to spend more time with his wife.”