Callie Blue, who waits tables at Wisconsin’s Gus’s Diner in Sun Prairie was surprised when a man left her an unexpectedly large tip early morning on Christmas Day.
Local reports said Ms Blue has been working at the diner for six years and when the man presented her with the tip, she thought it was a “joke”.
The man who gave the tip, Michael Johnson, is the president and CEO of the local Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and was on a mission to “give back” to people.
On the note Mr Johnson left for Ms Blue, he thanked her for “smiling and working on Christmas Day”.
Mr Johnson walked into the diner on Christmas at around 6am when he found Ms Blue. They ended up talking for 45 minutes, said news reports.
And subsequently, when he recorded a video of her after receiving the $1,000 tip, Ms Blue can be seen laughing and tearing up.
Mr Johnson said he had grown up to not be a fan of Christmas because his family could not afford to celebrate the holiday. But later on in life, he decided to make a difference in others’ lives.
“This year we raised over $100,000. We gave away a brand-new car to a family of five. We tipped several waitresses, we took about 50 families on shopping sprees and we secured toys for over 600 kids in our county,” Mr Johnson was quoted as saying by CBS News. The money, he said, was all fundraised on social media, and he had taken recommendations on who to give gifts to.
He said he had been looking for people in need as part of the club’s Pay It Forward campaign. Two donors had given about $5,000 for tip money, he added.
Recounting the experience, Ms Blue said: “I was like, ‘This is not happening.’ You always see videos and you hear this happening to other people, and you never think it’s going to happen to you. He was giggling and I was like, ‘That’s just not real.’ It was really exciting. I only cried a little bit.”