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Ridgewood Daily Voice serves Ridgewood, NJ

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Ridgewood Man With Special Needs Aims To Help Owner Of Fire-Gutted Pizzeria

Doug Bunza started a Go Fund Me page after his favorite pizzeria was damaged by a fire. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ines Bunza
La Bella Pizza owner Kenan "Kenny" Yildirim Photo Credit: Facebook photo

RIDGEWOOD, N.J.– La Bella Pizza has long been a "safe place" for Ridgewood's special needs adults, including Ines Bunza's 22-year-old son, Doug.

Owner Kenan "Kenny" Yildirim has "always been exceptionally kind" to them, she said.

So after a fire destroyed La Bella Pizza on Sunday, Doug did what he could to help by creating a GoFundMe page .

Bunza then posted a link in the Ridgewood Moms (and Dads) Facebook page.

Unfortunately, someone posted a comment questioning his intent, so he pulled down the GoFundMe page.

“Doug was very embarrassed," his mother said. "I hated to see him embarrassed like that."

Ines Bunza and her husband, Gregory , asked people to "think twice" before replying. "A little kindness goes a long way," she explained.

Then they revived the GoFundMe page.

Pretty soon, it had raised more than half of its $10,000 goal -- in less than 24 hours.

"No one is telling you that you have to [donate]," Inez Bunza said. "The money being collected is from people who want to do what they're doing."

The outpouring of support -- not just from her son -- has warmed the proud mother's heart.

"The whole town adores Kenny," she said.

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