RIDGEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- For eight years, Kenny Yildrim has been serving up pizza with a lot of heart.
"This place has always been my family," he says.
When La Bella Pizza on Maple Avenue in Ridgewood, New Jersey had to be closed and boarded up after an electrical fire, a loyal customer was determined to help cover up anything insurance didn't, so the restaurant could reopen.
"It was really heartbreaking for me. He's one of my favorites. He's just really nice to everyone, he's just a really nice guy to have in our town," says customer Doug Bunza.
22-year-old Doug, a man with special needs, took it upon himself to start a GoFundMe page. His mother says he set his sights high.
"I said 'Doug, maybe $2,000' he said everybody loves Kenny, and then he was tearing in all over the house saying 'I'm up to three, four!'" says Ines Bunza.
To say it was successful would be an understatement. His efforts so far have raise $11,000.
"It felt really great, and it's still really great now just to see everyone donating, it just warms my heart up," says Doug.
Doug's mother says the donations from the community are testament to Kenny's kindness.
"Ridge has a very large special needs community. It's a safe place, it's a comfortable place, and it does a parent's heart good," says Ines.
Kenny says his heart is full, "I feel so grateful, and so thankful, bless them, I can't thank them enough."
He says he will tell them how grateful he is, over pizza, after he rebuilds thanks to their help.
Man with special needs helps raise money to help Ridgewood pizza place reopen after fire