Acts of Kindness
First responders leave waitress life-changing tip she’ll never forget
When the first responders walked into the restaurant, they were already aware of their waitress' heartbreaking situation and wanted to help her out in a big way.
Irene Markianou
01.18.22

A group of first responders in Florida, consisting of paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and friends, started a yearly tradition called Big Tip Breakfast a few years ago.

YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

During this event, the group gathers in a restaurant, orders food and, before leaving the place, they leave a huge tip for a waiter/waitress they have already selected beforehand.

A couple of years ago, the tip they left was $2,500 but this year they took their tradition to a whole new level.

YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

They raised $4,000 for a waitress at Popi’s Place Restaurant, whose daughter has cancer.

In late December, the group of first responders gathered at Popi’s Place Family Restaurant in Palmetto, Florida. They ordered their food and enjoyed it together, as they chatted and had a great time.

YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

They really needed this break after a long time of never-ending shifts and stressful emergencies.

Last September, the eatery honored the first responders of the community by offering a 50% discount to them.

So, it was only fair that the first responders would return the kind gesture.

When the group finished their breakfast and were about to leave, they called their waitress and let her know that they had a surprise tip for her.

The sweet lady had no idea this would happen, and when she heard that there was a $4k tip for her, she teared up.

YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

As one of the first responders handed her the money, she couldn’t hold back her tears.

The woman then hugged the man, asking him:

“You know I have a daughter that’s battling cancer?”

She received the answer: “We do know”.

YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Indeed, the group had done its research before choosing the waiter/waitress who would receive the tip, and it seemed that this woman needed the money the most at that point.

It seems that the waitress deserved a big tip anyway, because she was extra nice and patient with the group.

YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

“We knew who she was the whole time,” Doug Brett told Fox13. “Just watching her and her reactions. She never got frustrated with our huge group of people so that made it even easier at the time because she was great, the service was actually good. She deserved a good tip anyway.”

Gary Masengale, who started this tradition three years ago, explained that he got the idea from a former classmate.

“I thought what a cool idea. Let’s run with that. Let’s see if we can get a group here to do that,” he said.

YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Source:
YouTube - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Masengale also explained how good it feels to help someone in need, especially this time of year.

He told FOX 13: “It’s emotional and you can really tell it’s a blessing and something unexpected and it’s just such a privilege to be partnered together with so many great people and make an impact in somebody’s life around the holidays.”

It’s so heartwarming to know that there are people out there who help others without waiting for anything in return.

Watch the video below to see the big surprise for yourself!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Irene Markianou
hi@sbly.com
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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