Touched by a New Hampshire waitress' kind offer to pick up the tab for a table of soldiers last week, Ellen DeGeneres surprised the single mother Friday with a $10,000 check.
Sarah Hoidahl, 22, lives with her mother and 2-year-old son Ashton in Concord, N.H., and works at a local Ruby Tuesday restaurant to make ends meet. Last week, she waited on two furloughed National Guard soldiers who made mention that they needed to keep lunch light because they weren't getting paid thanks to the government shutdown.
"It just got me thinking, 'Geez, that's really difficult'," Hoidahl told the talk show host on Friday's episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." "I'm a waitress and a single mother. I know how it is."
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So instead of giving the soldiers a bill at the end of their meal, Hoidahl slipped them a note.
"Thanks to the government shutdown the people like you that protect this country are not getting paid, however I still am. Lunch is on me. Thank you for serving ladies! Have a good day!" the note read.
The meal was $27.75, and Hoidahl walked away with just $8 at the end of her lunch shift.
To thank Hoidahl for paying it forward, DeGeneres made a big production of counting out $27.75 in exact change. She then gifted the woman with a 50-inch television before bringing out the real gift: a giant check for $10,000.
"You're a good person," DeGeneres told a sobbing Hoidahl.
Generous tips for waitresses have become something of a trend lately. In May, a photo of a restaurant receipt went viral after a customer left his server $1,000 on a $60 bill
with the note, "Your ticket to Italy! Enjoy!"
A week before, a regular at an Indiana Steak 'n Shake gifted a waitress $446 on a $6 bill
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