A 21-year-old waitress in Hawaii worked two jobs to make ends meet and pay off her school loans so she could return to school. She was pleasantly surprised when she received a $400 tip from complete strangers. However, that was only the beginning. There was an even bigger surprise waiting for her.
Cayla Chandara moved from Santa Rosa, California to Waikiki, Hawaii to continue her education. She also worked two jobs as a waitress. Cheesecake Factory and Noi Thai Cuisine became her places of employment.
Chandara didn’t want to accumulate any more debt from student loans than she already had acquired, so she backed off from school and worked her jobs, hoping that she would be able to return to school and resume her education.
While serving two “life-long friends” and a 10-year-old girl visiting from Australia at Noi Thai Cuisine last week, Chandara engaged them in conversation and told them why she was in Hawaii. She also communicated to them her goals as well as some of her financial struggles.
When their meal was over and they had left, Chandara collected the tab, which came to $200. However, what caused her jaw to drop was that the friendly strangers had left her a $400 tip!
“I was then at a loss for words and all I wanted to do was hug them,” Chandara told CBS News.
During the conversation that evening the couple told her where they were staying and so she wanted to stop by and tell them how much she appreciated their generosity.
“I genuinely wanted to say thank you,” Chandara said. “I sent a thank you letter saying how much it meant to me.”
She left a thank you note at the front desk of the hotel and left.
The following evening, the woman and the 10-year-old girl came back to the restaurant and Chandara was working there again. The woman informed her that they wanted to give her $10,000 to pay off her student loans and also continue to contribute to her college education.
“I initially told them I couldn’t take that offer, but they insisted that it would be just as great for them to do it for me,” Chandara said.
Now, she plans on returning to school in the fall to study business, but she wondered how she could repay the generous, and anonymous strangers.
“They told me the best way to thank them is to be my best possible self, dream big and strive for my goals,” Chandara said.
However, Chandara is not only going to be learning business, but she says the strangers taught her a valuable lesson.
“They have truly changed my life, not only financially but in the way I look at things. They are the most beautiful and kind-hearted people I’ve come across and I really look up to them and I can’t wait until they watch me graduate,” Chandara said.
“Always be genuine. You will get it right back. Good things happen,” Chandara said, hoping that others are reminded that there are still good and generous people still in the world.