High School Students Hand Card to Favorite Waitress. Jaw Drops When She Sees Check Inside


What would happen if each person took time out of their busy lives to show the people around them how much they appreciate them?

The world might just possibly be a little bit of a happier place if we didn’t wait for a special day or occasion to do something nice for someone else.

One group of high school students took a lesson on giving to heart, and translated it into their lives by showing their love and appreciation for their favorite waitress in December 2016.

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Jon Willis, a teacher at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy in Tennessee, takes his senior high school students to their local Steak ‘n Shake for “study breakfast.”

During a study of Dave Ramsey’s financial piece and the topic of giving, the students decided that they wanted to do something special for the waitress that treats them like family.

“Our finance class has been coming here to Steak ‘n Shake for the past four years and we’ve got a wonderful wonderful waitress that has been serving us for four years and we are hopefully about to bless her beyond what she can imagine,” Willis said.

The students created a “Martha Bucket” to collect cash for their favorite waitress Martha Loy. They even held a bake sale at their school to raise money.

“She has always been sweet and just loves on my students,” Willis said. “This year my seniors are studying finance and we are always talking about giving as part of what we do. So we decided to put that into action.

“Just a random act of kindness for a sweet lady.”

There is nothing that could prepare Loy for the gift she was about to receive. Willis first presented her with a large card signed by all of the students with a hand-drawn picture of her dog on it.

“I’m so proud of them,” she said, looking out at the tables of students. And after Willis pointed out that she’s been serving them for four years, she said, “and loved every minute of it.”

The card alone brought tears to her eyes. “We wanted to bless you for all the fun and blessings you’ve given us,” Willis said, as Loy opened a little red envelope.

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Her expression says it all.


Inside was a check for $1,500. Loy was so overcome with emotion that she needed to sit down.

“I’m speechless for the first time in my life,” she managed to say through her tears. “Thank you so much.”

This just shows that a little love and appreciation for the people we interact with goes a long way. What will you do to spread kindness today?

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith