Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that suggest more and more people all across the country are experiencing random acts of kindness even amid the challenges of the pandemic.
A server at a Tennessee Waffle House was shocked when she saw what was written on a customer's receipt.
Lauren Ball from Kingsport, Tennessee, was finishing up her shift at around 4 a.m. when a customer walked into the Waffle House.
"I was ready to go home, I didn't even want to wait on him but I was the only waitress working," Ball told WJHL.
The 21 year old had no clue, however, what was about to happen.
Ball had recently paid for her 2-year-old son's birthday party and was getting ready to leave for vacation in Florida with her father, so she was in a bit of a difficult place financially.
It was a Wednesday night and Ball thought that she might make about $30, or perhaps up to $60 if it was a good night.
The waitress had a nice conversation with two of the men she was serving and went outside to smoke a cigarette. One of the men followed her outside and told her that his friend was going to leave her a massive tip, but she didn't buy it. When she went back inside, she was shocked to find out that he hadn't been lying.
According to the Kingsport Times-News, the customer left Ball a $600 tip. She was stunned.
"It took my breath away," Ball said. "It made me sick to my stomach, but in a good way."
Once word about the tip spread around the restaurant, other employees wanted to find out for themselves if it was real. The cook flagged down the man who left the tip outside and asked if he was serious about the tip. He replied that he was.
Ball ran outside as the men were leaving and gave the man who left the tip a big hug and thanked him, in tears, for the incredibly generous tip. She had never met him before that night.
"I cried and told him he was an angel, and he would never know how much that meant to me," she said.
Ball asked why the man would do something like that for a stranger, "And he said I just like to do things for nice people," the single mother said.
Ball said that she will never forget about the man's kind gesture. She says that she hopes to one day be able to pay it forward and do something nice for a stranger herself.
Readers shared their thoughts on the story on the Facebook page.
"That was so nice of the man who gave her a tip that big sounds like she is a hard working Mother and I know that she appreciated it," one reader commented.
"This woman deserved it," another user wrote. "What a nice man. This single mom is working to support her kids. People should learn from her."