Hawaii-based waitress Cayla Chandara’s life changed when a couple left her a $400 tip and then offered to help pay off her student loan debt of $10,000.
Chandara has been working two serving jobs to make ends meet since she moved from her California home down to Hawaii for college.
While she was working a shift at Noi Thai Cuisine in Waikiki, Honolulu, the Australian couple she was serving left her a $400 tip on top of their $200 bill last week.
“I just thought it was so generous of them. I never get tipped that big. I had to say thank you,” she said. “During dinner, they told me where they were staying, so I ran there after work to see if they’d still be there.”
They were, and Chandara was able to give them a thank-you card and flowers. The next day, they gave her even more. The couple returned to the restaurant and offered to help pay off her student loans and debt, which totaled more than $10,000.
“I was like, ‘No way, you don’t have to do that for me. I just wanted to say thank you,’” Chandara said. “I still don’t feel like it’s real. I want to run around in the streets.”
While the couple wished to remain anonymous, they told Chandara the best way to thank them was to be her best possible self.
Chandara will be returning to school to study liberal arts and business.