A man's act of kindness toward a waitress has gone viral after he posted about it on social media.
Sean Whalen and his brother were raised by his mother after being kicked out of the house by his father, according to Whalen's Facebook post.
"I'll never forget the cops handing me a black trash bag saying I had 10 minutes to take the necessities [from my father's house]," he wrote. "I loaded up all the clothes I could fit into the bag, and that was the last time I ever stepped foot into the house I was raised in."
To make ends meet, Whalen's mother worked multiple jobs, as noted on HeroViral.
"I never understood when I was younger the grind and effort she put in for me and my little brother," he wrote. "I remember vividly walking past her room countless nights seeing her on her knees praying."
Whalen was reminded of this by a woman who waited on him and his young son at their favorite Chinese restaurant.
"She stuck out like a sore thumb," he wrote. "The owners are Chinese. The workers are Chinese. And this little white waitress."
Upon learning that the waitress was a single mother, Whalen thought of his own mother and the hardships she endured.
"Over small talk and water refills, I got the sense that this single mom didn’t want to be there, but had to be there and she was doing her best to smile," he wrote. "It tore my heart out. I thought of my mom, and I saw the same hustle in this woman that I saw in my mom."
"I kept thinking of my mom and how difficult it is for a single woman to go from home maker, to bread winner," he continued. "I can't even begin to understand what that must be like for some moms."
With all this in mind, Whalen felt obligated to help. He left the waitress a $100 tip on a $26 bill.
"I know my tip won't keep the fridge full," he acknowledged. "But I hoped tonight in some way it might put a smile on her face, and she can go home to her babies happier than when she left them."
It struck him that perhaps an empathetic person had done something similar for his mother in the past, and that it kept her from giving up.
"I hope this small gesture with my son tonight brightens this woman's life so she can wake up tomorrow and fight a good fight," he wrote. "Single moms who grind… RESPECT."
Whalen's Facebook post received over 130,000 likes and has been shared more than 64,000 times.