He opened the letter and froze. Why would she write something like that? He just wanted to help her, that’s all.
“My mother did not need you to help her,” the letter read. Surely this had to be some kind of mistake? But, little did he know, this was just the beginning.
Kasey Simmons worked at the local Applebee’s as a waiter. He didn’t mind his job, but the restaurant was always understaffed. That evening was especially busy, and Kasey couldn’t wait to clock out.
An hour before his shift was over, a woman and her family walked in and took a seat at a table next to the bar. “Hey, my name’s Kasey,” the young man said, smiling. “I’m just letting you know that I am so far behind, and I’m in the weeds right now.” However, when the woman heard that he would only be able to take her order in 45 minutes, her face went pale.
Kasey desperately tried to please the woman and her family by offering them a round of free drinks, but they weren’t satisfied still. With more customers entering the restaurant, Kasey was beginning to feel overwhelmed. This really wasn’t his day.
There were over ten tables that needed his attention, and he was just one server. It was getting too much. “What if I just walked out right now?” he thought.
As tempting as walking away seemed, Kasey knew he needed the money to pay the bills. So, he took a deep breath and braced himself for the stressful hour ahead.
The woman told Kasey they wouldn’t be ordering any food but wanted to get a bottle of flavored water before they left. Kasey felt awful for making her wait for over an hour just to order their food. But he had no idea that the woman wasn’t done with him yet.
The bill for the flavored water her table had ordered came to just 74 cents. The woman searched for some coins in her purse but then said that she didn’t have any.
She asked him if he could split the amount on two credit cards instead. Kasey couldn’t believe it. As if his hands weren’t already full…However, he patiently obliged before walking away to service new customers.
After attending to the other patrons, Kasey went back to the woman and her family with the bill in his hands, only to realize that they had already left. Fearing the worst, he opened the leather folder and saw a note on the receipt.
The woman had written $500.37. At first, Kasey thought she had made a mistake. But when he saw the cash, he knew it was correct. He was still confused, however. Why would she tip him? Then, he saw the note.
“On behalf of the Sullivan family, I want to thank you for being the person you are,” the note read.
“On one of the most depressing days of the year (the passing of my father’s 3-year anniversary), you made my mother’s day wonderful. She has been smiling since you did what you did.” Kasey read on until the letter began to make sense.
That same day, he saw an elderly woman in the grocery store while he was doing his weekly shopping. He noticed that she looked quite sad. “I noticed there was a lady standing in front of me,” Kasey recalls.
“It looked like she had been crying because once in a while she’d glance over to me.” So, he offered to help her.
“I go up to her and say, ‘It’s not raining inside. There’s no reason to look so down. I’m sure you have a beautiful smile because you are a beautiful lady.”
”It looked like she had a bad day,” Kasey said. “She kind of shut me down a little bit. I wanted to make her at least grin a little bit and it wasn’t happening.”
After speaking to her for a while, Kasey offered to pay for her groceries to make her feel a little bit better. He paid a total of $17. It took him some time to convince the woman to let him pay for her things, though.
After he paid for the woman’s groceries, he gave her his Applebee’s business card just in case. Then, they parted ways, and Kasey went to work.
“Every time I get to work, I say, ‘It’s a great day. I’m going to make some friends and make some money,’” Kasey said.
“This day happened to be the worst day of my Applebee’s career. I was having such a bad night that I was about to walk out of that place, and this lady comes in…”
Kasey had no idea that the woman he offered free drinks to that day was actually the elderly woman’s daughter. She came to the restaurant just so that she could repay Kasey for the kindness he showed her mother.
“Her grocery was only $17.00, and you insisted on paying and told her she was a very beautiful woman,” she said.
“My mother did not need you to help her, but you made her year,” the note continued. Kasey’s story had gone viral and been picked up by local news stations.
People from all over the world were calling him a hero. “Fantastic to see that there are still good, generous, humble, sincere, and caring people in our vicious world of today. Well done and thank you!” one person wrote.
Another person described his story as “heartwarming,” and everyone agreed. “If everyone did one act of kindness a day, the world would be a much better place,” another Facebook user wrote.
But how does Kasey feel about all the attention? Does he consider himself a hero?
Kasey remains humble. “Even with what I did at the grocery store, I would want someone to do that for my daughter, mom, or grandmother,” he explained.
“If they looked the way that woman did at Kroger, I would pray you would do the same.”