‘Tis the season for giving back, and a group of diners at decided to bless their server with a gift in the form of cold hard cash.
Last Saturday, a group of friends met for breakfast at an IHOP in Paterson, New Jersey, where they surprised their waitress with a generous tip. Local activist and educator Zellie Imani was among the group of a dozen guests who each brought $100 for the tip.
“It’s called ‘Shock and Clause,'” Imani, 35, told Atlanta Black Star. “The idea, which we were inspired by from a group in Colorado, is to gather friends to a restaurant with each bringing $100. After the bill is covered, the rest is given to the server as a surprise tip this holiday season!”
He captured the heartwarming moment on video, noting that the waitress thought there was some mistake and tried giving the money back.
“Aww, y’all are gonna make me cry!” she says, overcome with joy. “Thank you! I appreciate it.”
The group of friends encouraged others to continue the act of kindness, which they hope to make a holiday tradition.
“If you and your friends have the capacity and heart to pool your money to give a large tip to a waitress this holiday season that you know deserves it, I encourage it,” Zellie wrote. “You’ll be surprised how many of your friends would be supportive of the idea!”
He added: “This goes to show that even a small group of people can have a big impact. It’s a privilege to be someone else’s blessing.”
The moment went viral, and the friends were lauded for their show of generosity.
“This is the type of Holiday spirit I like to hear about,’ one Twitter user wrote. “Congratulations to you and your friends for doing this. Stay Blessed!”
“This is beautiful!” another chimed in. “I’m from Paterson and I know I’d be thrilled as I sit here looking to join a seminar to tell me how to pay down debt with low income. Thank you for being a blessing especially during the holidays.”
Another user was taken aback by the “loving and compassionate gesture.”
“This is so wonderful and life changing for the person who receives it,” someone else wrote. “We never know what someone else is going through. Thanks for the reminder of what we can do for others.”
Watch more in the clip below.
Our @IHOP waitress was so confused when she was given the $1,200. She started to count it like…”Wait, you gave me to much” and as she double checks the bill we are just grinning like “she has no idea that we didn’t make a mistake”… pic.twitter.com/x8BUOL2gDk
— zellie (@zellieimani) December 14, 2019