A Texas waitress received the surprise of a lifetime when a customer reportedly gave her a $1,000 tip to help fund her college education.
Alesha Palmer of Kemp, Texas, works as a waitress at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant for about 30 hours a week to help save money to fund her education, KLTV reports. On April 9, she was serving two tables, and one of the patrons asked about her post-high school plans.
"They were asking about my college plans and told them my parents were helping [to pay for it]," Palmer, 18, told KLTV.
Palmer reportedly plans to attend Tyler Junior College to get a degree in business. She eventually wants to get a degree in culinary arts and open a pastry shop.
The man at Palmer’s other table that night, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to the owner of the restaurant while paying his bill.
"I went up to the owner, Mike and asked if I had done something wrong," Palmer said.
Mike showed Palmer the receipt. On the $9.69 bill, the patron had given her a $1,000 tip.
"I kind of just stood there wide eyed and I just started crying and I'm in the middle of the restaurant," she recalled.
"I mean, this can't be happening, this has to be a dream, not in little Cedar Creek area," she added.
The receipt was posted on the Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant Facebook page on April 14, and it has since gone viral, garnering over 1,000 likes and 300 shares in four days.
"A gentleman over heard her speaking to other customers about her college education expenses," the photo's caption read. "I have to say that there are still wonderful people out there in this difficult world. Thanks goes to this man for being so generous and caring!"
"Who would've thought that some one would receive a tip like that in a little town like Gun Barrel City, TX," Facebook user Margaret Wilson Manning wrote. "God bless this person for helping this waitress out with her education."
Palmer is deeply grateful to the customer.
"It's not every day that you come across someone that's as sweet and generous," Palmer told KLTV.
Jennifer Brown, manager of the restaurant, said that before this incident, the largest tip that servers had received at the establishment was $100.
"It restores your faith," Brown said. "There is just so much bad going on and you always hear of all the bad. You don't hear the good."