Kathryn Irwin was not expecting to have a life-changing experience on Sunday. The North Carolina waitress assumed it would be like any busy day at her local Olive Garden. But, she was wrong. Instead, Irwin found herself at the center of a story about a random act of kindness.
According to WCTI, the life-changing incident began when Kathryn found herself serving a family of six last weekend. She thought nothing of it, treating them with respect and the diligent service that she was used to giving customers. However, it was the holiday season, and the waitress had apparently made a strong impression on the family. When it came time to tip, she was surprised by $1,000 on what was originally a $75 bill.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 24, 2015
The funny part is that the waitress was unaware she’d even received the generous tip. ABC News quoted Irwin as saying, “After the family had left, I didn’t even look at the checkbook right away since we were short-staffed, so I went to help other team members.”
It wasn’t until much later that the Olive Garden waitress got the chance to look at the tip, which she stared at in disbelief.
“I noticed the decimal point on the tip, and I thought, ‘No way!’ I ran to my manager, and he verified it and told me, ‘Katy, you did really good this time.'”
Kathryn shared the receipt, which had “God bless you!” written above the surprise $1,000 tip. It was clear that the family was hoping their act of kindness would be a blessing to the waitress. What they didn’t know is that their tip inspired Irwin to “pay it forward” in her own way.
ABC News and WCTI reports that Kathryn went out to dinner on Monday, during which time took a portion of the tip money and paid for an elderly couple’s meal. She also left a nice tip for the couple’s waitress. The 24-year-old also contributed donations to the Salvation Army via kettles at the local mall.
— Jenkers News (ENG) (@jenkers_en) December 26, 2015
Kathryn Irwin admits that she was moved to “do the right thing” and follow the family’s generous example by using her tip money to perform acts of kindness of her own.
“I’m so thankful, they said God bless me, and I want God to bless them, and I won’t forget that, I won’t forget them.”
In addition to addition to random charitable acts, the waitress may use some of the money to fix her car, which she described as “a little bit on the older side.” More importantly, Irwin shared that she intends to return to college soon, which is why the tip seemed so miraculous. It came “at a perfect time” for the waitress, who just might be able to move forward with her long-term education plans thanks to the kind act of a family she’ll never forget.
“You hear about generous tips around the holidays. I’ve never personally had it happen to me, so I just want to make sure I do the right thing and again I just want them to know how thankful I am.”
It’s probably no coincidence that this story happened right before Christmas. People are more likely to do kind acts for others during the holiday season. Also, research has shown that acts of kindness can reduce stress’ negative impact on the body.
Have you ever performed an awesome act of kindness during the holidays? Did someone do something great for you? Feel free to share in the comment section below.
[Image via Kathryn Irwin]