Single mom Shannon Vargas is a waitress at the Oak Lawn Original Pancake House in Illinois. She was working a shift this January when she received the most unexpected surprise.
A customer tipped Shannon $2,020 on a bill of $36.73.
“I opened it up and I heard them whispering, and I put my head around the corner and I said, ‘Is this a joke?'” Shannon told CBS Chicago. “And she said, ‘No, it’s not a joke.’ She’s like, ‘This is for you.’ And I was in shock. I just started crying.”
The tip is part of the 2020 Tip Challenge. A Michigan waitress received a $2,020 tip. When actor Donnie Wahlberg heard about it, he left a $2,020 tip for a server at the St. Charles IHOP.
On the bill, the customer wrote, “Because everyone needs help sometimes.” They couldn’t have known how much that surprise would help Shannon. She had been struggling since she had to drop everything to move to Alabama to take care of her father, who has since passed away.
Shannon has been living in a hotel with her 16-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son. She has no phone and takes the bus to work.
“I go day by day, and with this, I can actually breathe, maybe, for a little bit,” Shannon said of the generous tip.
Her coworkers feel like no one is more deserving than Shannon. “When we found out it was Shannon, the whole staff went crazy, you know. They were calling and texting,” said coworker Michelle Strong. “She’s very sweet and humble.”
As it turns out, there were more surprises in store for Shannon. “The staff and I have set up a GoFundMe page for you,” Michelle revealed to Shannon. “It’s like a public page where people can donate to you to help you out. Thank you so much. You deserve it so much.”
Shannon hopes this is the beginning of some forward motion for her and her family. She shared her hopes for what the next six months hold. “I want to have my own place, a vehicle, and just keep moving forward,” she said. “I already have a good job.”
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