Diners Shock New Jersey Waitress With $1,200 Tip

December 20, 2019 Updated: December 23, 2019
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This holiday season, a group of 12 generous friends in New Jersey agreed to spread the act of kindness by doing something nice for a stranger.

Zellie Thomas posted on Twitter on Dec. 14, expressing his happiness in making the holiday season for a waitress. According to his post, Thomas, who introduces himself as a teacher on his profile, decided to go with his friends to an IHOP restaurant in Paterson for breakfast. Each person had $100 in their pocket to give a server an early holiday gift. In the end, they left a waitress $1,200 cash in tips.

According to CBS New York, their waitress just happened to be Angelica Alicea, a 30-year-old single mother with two children who earns only $2.13 per hour and relies mainly on tips for her living. Alicea confirmed to CBS that over the weekend when she was busy serving her customers, a large group of diners shocked her at the end of their meal by leaving her a $1,200 tip. The single mother first thought that the customers made a mistake and wanted to return the money to them, but later found the gift was really hers. “I cried instantly. When they said it…I cried,” she said.

Alicea said she appreciated the gift of kindness that allows her to make her children’s Christmas holiday.

Waitress Surprised by $1200 Cash Tips
Zellie Thomas (R) and Angelica Alicea (L) at an IHOP restaurant in Paterson, N.J., on Dec. 14, 2019. (Courtesy of Zellie Thomas)

Thomas is said to have been inspired by a similar act done by a group of people in Colorado a few years ago, NJ reported.

He wrote on Twitter that he would encourage similar acts by any community who has the ability and the willingness to give someone a hand. In response to one comment on Twitter, he said: “ Today I gained and I feel more was added to my day, my life from it. I felt I received more from it then her.”

Waitress Surprised by $1200 Cash Tips
Zellie Thomas (R) and a group of his friends at an IHOP restaurant in Paterson, N.J., on Dec. 14, 2019. (Courtesy of Zellie Thomas)

Many of his followers on Facebook and Twitter liked and supported the generous Christmas gift from Thomas and his friends. This also encouraged his Twitter followers to follow the same path, with someone leaving a comment saying: “This is the type of Holiday spirit I like to hear about. … I’m going to start doing this with my friends also.”