First-time mom-to-be Courtney English was waiting tables, trying earnestly to boost her savings before the baby arrived. Working at the Lamp Post Diner, New Jersey, the nearly eight-months-pregnant 23-year-old drew the attention of many of the tables she waited, especially one.
The diner is a hot spot for Voorhees police officers wanting to grab a bite during their lunch break. An officer chose to sit at one of Courtney’s tables during the frantic lunch rush on a Friday afternoon, and Courtney took a moment to chat with him despite the crowds.
The officer’s bill came to $8.75, but having been touched by the young waitress’s excitement for her new baby and her hard work trying to boost her savings, the officer added a tip to his payment: an extremely generous $100.
Courtney was blown away by the officer’s gesture, but it wasn’t the money that touched her heart; it was the note that he wrote for her on the receipt. “Enjoy ur 1st. You will never forget it,” the officer scribbled. These few, kind words went a long, long way: Courtney fled to her boss in tears.
Mark Patete, the manager of the Lamp Post Diner, was extremely touched when the cashier brought the officer’s tip to his attention. “I just filled up … that’s so sweet,” he recalled, speaking to USA Today. “It’s just neat on a credit card,” he continued, “because everyone gets to see it. My father is a detective for a lot of years. I have all the respect in the world for police … A good heart is a good heart. It gives me faith in mankind.”
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Patete suspected that the officer had overheard a conversation between Courtney and a larger group of guests at a different table, who were no doubt flooding the young mom-to-be with questions about her conspicuous pregnancy and her plans for the new arrival. “People were talking to her about her pregnancy,” Patete explained, “and asking, ‘Is it your first?'”
Courtney may have known the officer’s name but he never signed the note, perhaps wishing to remain anonymous. But we’ve no doubt that Courtney will remember her encounter and the officer’s act of generosity for a very long time to come.
Thank you to Brian Cadigan and Courtney English for bringing in treats for our officers and staff this…
“It was from the heart. It really touched her,” said Brian Cadigan, Courtney’s father. Cadigan, keen to share his daughter’s uplifting encounter, regaled the story on his Facebook page. And we’re glad he did; stories of kindness and generosity, especially in times of global hardship, truly make the world go round!
“The officers need that recognition,” Cadigan stated, explaining that he’d hoped his post would garner new respect and positive attention for the work of the local police force. And he only had good things to say about the anonymous benefactor: “He’s a cop that wanted to do something good.”
The age of the internet prohibits the kindly officer from remaining an entirely unsung hero, of course: the Voorhees Township even picked up on the story and couldn’t resist posting their support on their own Facebook page. “Beautiful story and gesture from one of our own at the Voorhees Township Police Department,” they shared, adding: “Blessings to the young lady and her baby.”
Courtney gave birth to a baby girl named Kayleigh in early April.
“She’s a young mother and struggling,” Courtney’s father shared. “She’s just trying to get as much money as she can before she goes on leave.” He added that his daughter plans to work right up until the baby is born. But luckily for the industrious young mom-to-be, she now has a generous tip to add to her much-needed parenting fund.
“She’s a tough little girl,” Cadigan said proudly.
Congratulations, Courtney, and kudos to the kindhearted New Jersey cop who made her day! Share this article with everybody you know if you believe that kindness and generosity make the world go round.