Lifestyle & Human Interest

Group Surprises IHOP Waitress with $1,200 Tip: 'Be Someone Else's Blessing'


A group of friends participated in a “Shock and Clause” event over the weekend, leaving a $1,200 tip for a waitress at an IHOP in Paterson, New Jersey.

On Sunday, Zellie Thomas and his friends organized an outing to the pancake restaurant, each bringing $100 to contribute to the tip.

The thankful, excited recipient was waitress Angelica Alicea, who, according to USA Today, initially thought the group had mistakenly overpaid — by a lot.

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Alicea was stunned as she counted the bills, overcome with emotion to learn the $1,200 tip was all for her.

“She was still looking at it as we was paying the bill. We gave her the money and she was starting to count, like, ‘Wait, wait: You guys gave me too much money,’” Thomas told USA Today. “’You were supposed to give me this amount.’ And we were like, ‘No, that’s all for you. That’s your tip.'”

Thomas captured the moment on video and shared it on Twitter, writing, “Today, I was apart of something that I hope becomes an annual holiday tradition.”

“It really is a privilege to be someone else’s blessing!” he wrote.

Through tears, Alicea spoke of the struggle she often faces financially, wondering whether or not she will be able to provide for her family each day.

Thanks to her Christmas tip, she will be able to relax this holiday season and buy what she needs for her family.

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“It uplifted my spirit because some people care and they were paying attention, and that feels really good at any time of the year,” Alicea told WABC-TV.

Thomas, who said he and his friends were inspired by other groups who have done similar “Shock and Clause” events, hopes that others will consider getting their friends together to do the same in their area.

“If you and your friends have the capacity and heart to pool your money to give a large tip to a waitress this holiday season that you know deserves it. I encourage it. You’ll be surprised how many of your friends would be supportive of the idea!” he wrote.

Just one person can make a big difference in someone’s life, especially if that person rallies their friends to help.

“We all have the abilities to change someone’s life or make someone’s day a lot better,” Thomas said. “And sometimes, it’s even really as simple as putting out the call to your friends, and you’ll be surprised at how many people respond to that call of action.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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Lifestyle & Human Interest