Sharing the Blessings of Life | News from Mont Airy

It was early Wednesday morning when the first group of diners for the day entered the Olympia restaurant.

Melissa Hale, who has served tables and worked at Olympia’s cashier for over 20 years, approached the six women as she does any other customer – wishing them good morning, introducing herself and then taking their orders.

About an hour later, Hale realized that this wasn’t a normal breakfast party – at least not for her. When she returned to see if anyone wanted a last cup of coffee, the group had placed six $ 100 bills on the table.

“It’s for our breakfast. All that’s left is yours, ”said one of the group members. Since the breakfast tab was around $ 60, Hale ended up with a tip of $ 540.

“It was really shocking,” Hale said later today. “Yes, it was very sweet, very sweet. It made me cry, “she recalls.” When I returned to the table, one of the ladies had the money in a transparent box… and said, “We went out this morning to bless someone. , and that’s you. ”We’ve had people give us some money for Christmas, but never anything that big.

The group of six women asked to remain anonymous, but one said she recently wanted to do something to help a local person or family over the holiday season. She called several of the resource agencies that oversee efforts to ensure underprivileged children and families in the area have Christmas gifts and food, and they all reported to her that all of their needs are met for the season. holidays.

Around this time, a friend of hers passed her an article about a group of individuals from another town who visit a restaurant together every once in a while – everyone puts $ 100 into a collection, everyone else. money remaining once the bill is paid going to the waiter or waiter.

Soon there were six of them to buy into the idea, and on Wednesday, at the Olympia, it was the restaurant they decided to visit.

“We decided which restaurant to go to because we know how hard the ladies work there. We all know how difficult the service industry is right now. When we gave her the money, she said, “You have no idea how much I appreciate this, and I’m honored that people are like that. “

It didn’t take long for their generosity to set the tone for others to follow. After receiving the tip, Hale almost immediately called the other waiter working that morning, Jessica Velazquez, in the back.

“I was busy with other tables when people tipped him,” Velazquez said. “I heard something, but I wasn’t sure what was going on… I went into the kitchen and she (Hale) told me.”

And then Hale told her that she would share the tip equally with Velazquez.

“I was like ‘No’ and she said yes, and I was all surprised. It made me so happy. I almost cried. Seriously, I almost cried.

The organizer of the anonymous group said the blessing was a two-way street.

“These two servers were not the only two who were blessed. We have all been blessed to be able to do something like this. We are blessed because we have met new people… we have made new friends.

As they were leaving, she said the group noticed that there were stockings hanging in the restaurant, with the name of the staff on each one, so they gave more for the rest of the staff – putting in a little more money. money, as well as gift cards, in the stockings. for the rest of the workers there.

As the group dined, before even handing over the money to the waiters, one said, “We should be doing this every month, one way or another,” the porter said. word of the group. Each month, the group plans to visit a restaurant, cafe, or some kind of service-oriented business to leave a big tip or a gift for some staff.

Rather than seeking any form of credit or public recognition, she said the group was only hoping for two things. First, that they are able to make a difference in the lives of those who receive their donations; and second, that more people in Surry County will make the effort and do something similar, to help even more people.

“I realized that I am probably the happiest of my life and that I am probably much more blessed than I deserve,” said the spokesperson for the group, a sentiment shared by her dining mates. “As we were sitting there, all of us who were sitting at the table were truly blessed, and we decided to do it, to share blessings with each other. “

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