Restaurant Employee Breaks Down in Tears When She Realizes What Her Coworkers Have Done


Mary Keaulana-Riotutar first moved to Loredo, Texas, from Hawaii on a college volleyball scholarship.

But Mary hasn’t been able to return home to visit her family since then, meaning she hasn’t seen them in over six years.

In order to support herself, Mary has been working as a server at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. After less than a year of working there, her coworkers have become her second family.

“To me my job isn’t just a plain & boring job I’ve always loved working here,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

“I guess the only reason why I survived this long without my blood family, my momma is because of these blessed souls & my best friends out of work.”

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One day, Mary was working her regular shift when three of her off-duty coworkers called her into the kitchen for an announcement.

Then, coworker after coworker began to tell Mary just how much she meant to them and their team.

“We all came together as a family because we love you so so so very much,” one co-worker said, talking to Mary. 

“Mary, you do so much for this company and for all of us as a family. You pull doubles and dedicate yourself to this place.”

“You’ve been a great friend to all of us, may God bless you Mary,” another read. “Thank you for being there with the smiles and the support.”

The coworker concluded the announcement with a line that left Mary confused: “I wish you the very best. Good luck in your trip home.”

At first, she had no idea what they were trying to tell her. But suddenly, one team member handed her a white envelope, and Mary immediately broke down in tears.

Her coworkers had noticed she was homesick, so they all chipped in to buy Mary a trip home to Hawaii to see her family.

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“I miss my mom, my family, the food, the aloha, EVERYTHING & well i talk about it like ALL THE TIME,” Mary wrote on Facebook. 

“Thank you my cheddars family for sending me home to my beautiful momma.”

“I don’t even know what to say,” she said in the video. “I love you all. Thank you guys so much.”

It was just so amazing and every time I want to talk about it,” Mary later said. “I want to cry, because who is going to do that for a random person. I barely knew them for like a like year so it’s like who’s going to do that? It’s very heartfelt and I haven’t seen my mom in such a long time, and it’s just amazing.”

Mary plans to travel home to Hawaii in May or June to finally see her family again.

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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