Acts of Kindness
Man says “Hold on” to waitress then pulls out wad of cash, hands it to her and starts recording
She had no idea what was going on when they started filming her.
Sasha Alonzo
11.18.21

When the holidays come around the majority of people take a moment to appreciate what they have. It’s also a season that makes people want to give back to those that may be less fortunate than them or may not have had such an easy year.

Covid-19 has put so many of us in difficult situations with redundancies, being cut off from family members, and having to create last-minute financial plans just to see us through.

A time to help others

But for the lucky few who haven’t been affected too badly by the coronavirus pandemic, Christmas presents an opportunity to help out a neighbor in need.

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Shelby Thill works as a server at IHOP

She says she loves her job, mainly because of the social interaction – although the pay could be better.

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Speaking to KCAU-TV Sioux City, she explained:

“We don’t even get minimum wage. We get about $4 an hour, so we really heavily rely on our tips because our paychecks every two weeks is maybe less than $100.”

With the pandemic showing no signs of ending anytime soon, and with the expensive Christmas well underway, Shelby knew it was going to be difficult to make ends meet this year.

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Until that is, she served Mirza Kudic, a local photographer with a secret plan to make somebody’s day.

A special surprise

Mirza had an idea: raise $1,000 in cash that he would pass onto a random server on Thanksgiving Day.

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He shared his idea on his Facebook profile, writing:

“Tomorrow a random server at a random Des Moines restaurant will be surprised with a $1200 tip as a thank you for working on. By the numbers, I’ve collected $999 via @venmo through donations and and I’m donating $200 myself. If anyone wants to add to this before tomorrow you still can. Venmo @ mirzakudic

“I feel like 100% transparency is important whenever you are asking people to donate money to something. I would love to see someone match the entire amount or match my donation before tomorrow. That would be wonderful!”

It was nothing short of an act of kindness from Mirza, who contributed $200 to the tip, and the 50 other people who added the rest to make the total of $1,000.

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On Thanksgiving day Shelby was working a usual shift, unaware that anything surprising was about to happen.

Mirza and his friend had bought food for less than $10, so Shelby knew not to expect a big tip from their order.

But fate had other plans, as Shelby was about to find out!

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When Mirza and his friend were about to leave, and Shelby came over to say goodbye, they stopped her for a second.

All captured on camera

The whole exchange was recorded by Mirza’s friend, and Shelby can be heard telling them to enjoy the rest of their day, before turning to leave. Mirza jumps in with:

“Hold on, before you leave… “

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When Shelby turns around, it’s pretty obvious that she’s expecting a customer complaint. There aren’t many other reasons why a customer would get you to wait a second in an IHOP just as they’re about to leave.

But instead of giving her a hard time, Mirza hands Shelby a stack of cash – a total of $1,300.

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Mirza wishes Shelby a happy Thanksgiving, and she immediately wells up, saying:

“Thank you so much.”

According to Shelby, Mirza went on to explain that it was her lucky day, and she could only thank him again and again.

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Mirza could have easily stopped there, but he’s now planning a Christmas gift fund to “help buy a few gifts for children whose parents may not be able to afford to do so or are having to really stress their budgets to just buy a couple of gifts”.

Mirza is a special man who together with his community helped make a woman’s holiday season so much brighter. We could all learn from his kindness.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Sasha Alonzo
hi@sbly.com
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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