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Local waitress gets holiday surprise of a lifetime

Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 9:51 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A local restaurant was touched by a little holiday magic but, this time, it wasn’t Santa.

Monica Westfall was in the middle of cutting pies at Tonya’s Country Kitchen when a customer approached her.

“Make sure this goes through” she said, handing Monica her debit card.

Monica looked down in disbelief. It was a $1,000 tip and it wasn’t a typo. The woman left with a merry Christmas and Monica burst into tears.

Monica said that tip didn’t just help with the holidays.

“To get a tip like that was mind-blowing and it was just a few days before Willow’s birthday - my daughter - she just turned three.”

Monica took Willow shopping for her birthday, letting her pick out her presents - an experience she describes as reassuring with the looser budget.

Holidays, she said, are the most stressful time of the year - but, like it’s been for everyone, 2020 has been especially hard.

“I don’t know, it just feels heavy and for her to be able to lift that off me - and I feel like she did impact my life and I want to help others too, you know? I have to remind myself that there are kind people and not everything’s bad,” she said.

The impact of a stranger’s kindness inspired Monica and even changed her.

She said, “It changed something in me a little bit too and I don’t know how to explain it. It was just a great act of kindness and it felt really good and it made me look differently at things...which I try to be a positive person anyways but I was just a stranger to her and she a stranger to me.”

In these colder months, let’s remember the warmth even a stranger can bring.

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