Stranger leaves $3,000 tip for waitress with special request

In October 2012, tragedy struck the Specht family when their 22-month-old son Reese drowned in a backyard pond. Just 24 hours later, Hurricane Sandy destroyed their home. Devastated and unable to comprehend their loss, the family received an outpouring of help and support from friends, family, and neighbors.

Grateful for the assistance they received, the Specht family wanted to repay their loved ones. However, their friends and relatives refused to accept any money. Instead, the family decided to establish the ReesSpecht Life Foundation. The foundation’s main objective is to promote community, respect, and compassion, inspired by little Reese’s memory.

To spread the message of kindness, the foundation created hundreds of thousands of “Pay it Forward” cards. These cards were meant to encourage acts of kindness and create an unbreakable chain of compassion. Years later, a stranger would contribute to this message.

While dining at a restaurant in New York’s Times Square, the anonymous man decided to leave a generous tip for the waitress. In addition to his bill of $43.50, he tipped an astonishing $3,000. Along with the tip, he left three simple requests for the waitress.

The message the man wrote read:

“Thank you for your kindness and humility. My middle school teacher went through a difficult experience a few years ago, which inspired me to do this. My only requirements are:

  1. Go to and learn!
  2. Don’t let ‘Pay it Forward’ end with you.
  3. Since it’s about the idea and not about you or me, if you decide to share this, don’t use either of our names!

Thank you for being around for all of my shows on and off Broadway. I hope that someday someone gives as much love and happiness into the world as you do.”

Moved by the man’s generosity and thoughtful message, the waitress decided to reach out to Richard Specht, the founder of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation. She believed he would appreciate knowing that, even after many years, someone was honoring his late son in such a beautiful way.

The waitress sent an email to Richard, attaching the receipt and the man’s message. When Richard received the email, he was speechless. Seeing the $3,000 tip and reading the note, he realized that the anonymous person was one of his former students from a decade ago.

“To think that someone I had a decade ago would honor my little boy, or even remember his eighth-grade science teacher in such a way, blows me away,” Richard shared in a blog post.

This heartwarming story reminds us that kindness is a powerful force that can positively impact the world. Let’s continue to spread love, compassion, and generosity.

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