Employees working on Christmas Eve at an Ohio Waffle House were stunned when they received a generous tip from a local church.
Congregants from the Grand Lake United Methodist Church in Celina delivered $3,577 in cash to five women working at the restaurant chain’s Wapakoneta location, The Associated Press reported.
The church’s lead pastor, The Rev. Mick Whistler, preached about generosity at Christmas in his sermons, according to The AP. Whistler challenged families to set aside cash in the weeks leading up to Christmas and instructed them to bring five $15 bills to the church for the Christmas Eve service.
At the end of the service, Whistler took off his minister’s robes to reveal a red server’s apron underneath and announced that they were going to the Waffle House, where hardworking servers were currently away from their families.
“We are gonna show them God’s love through extravagant generosity,” Whistler said during the holiday sermon, churchgoers cheering in the background. “We are gonna give them the biggest tip I’m sure they’ve ever received in their life.”
Churchgoer Barb Vorhees told The AP that several dozen members drove to the Waffle House and packed inside to witness the employees’ reactions. Up to 70 people drove to the restaurant despite snow and poor road conditions, Vorhees said.
There, Whistler walked up to the counter with a white paper bag full of cash and told the employees that the church members wanted to give them a big tip from that night’s offering.
The workers split the cash, taking home about $700 each. They and cried and hugged each other, expressing disbelief at their good fortune.
“Are you kidding us?” One employee asked when Whistler announced the gift, while another said, “Oh my God,” placing her hand over her mouth as she gasped.
Last month, New Kids on Block singer Donnie Wahlberg also showed his appreciation to the hard-working employees at a Waffle House near Indianapolis by leaving a $2,000 tip.
Wahlberg had been in Indianapolis to watch his Boston Celtics take on the Indiana Pacers, posing with Celtics Point Guard Kyrie Irving at Waffle House after the game.
— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) November 26, 2017
(H/T: The Associated Press)