Thanks to a government shutdown, two soldiers did not receive a pay check. Instead, they received something far more meaningful – an act of generosity from a stranger.

* Image in feature uses Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

The people who fight and sometimes sacrifice their lives for our country deserve respect. This is something most of us can agree upon. Not only do they deserve respect – they deserve a pay check!

However, thanks to issues with bureaucracy and a government shutdown, many public servants and soldiers in America were furloughed and not getting paid.

Luckily, for two soldiers in New Hampshire, luck was on their side and they were able to rely on the kindness of strangers while waiting for their jobs to resume.

How a Table at a Restaurant Turned Out to Be Lucky For 2 Soldiers

Photo by Bimo Luki on Unsplash

Sarah Hoidahl, a 21-year-old waitress from New Hampshire, works at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant close to an army base and frequently serves military personnel. One day, two female soldiers sat in her section and explained to Sarah that they wanted to order some of the least expensive things on the menu as they were not receiving a paycheck due to the government shutdown.

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Hearing this upset Sarah, a single mother, who felt strongly that those who protect and serve should be protected and served by their communities. She felt that these two women, and those who were in the same situation, had been let down. Hence, she decided to take matters into her own hands. 

Why a Generous Waitress Decided to Pick Up Her Customers’ Tab

When it came time to give the two soldiers their $30 bill, Sarah instead handed over a handwritten thank you note in the billfold. The note read: “’Thanks to the government shutdown, the people like you that protect this country are not getting paid. However, I still am. Lunch is on me. Thank you for serving ladies! Have a good day!”

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The lovely gesture generated local media attention, which surprised Sarah. She believes that she only did what anyone would have. 

Just seeing the reaction on their faces was totally worth it.

Sarah Hoidahl

How a Waitress Gave Back to the People Who Served Her Country

Photo by Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash

Sarah’s instinct to give back to the people that give to our communities is one that we should all try to follow. Even her manager’s mother-in-law, who herself is an active member of the military, heard about the incident and was touched.

She was excited to tell her own boss about what happened, and share that the country they are fighting for daily is full of good and generous people like Sarah.

Sarah’s act of kindness was recognized when Ellen DeGeneres got her on the show and paid her the $30 she had spent on the soldiers’ meal, gifted her a brand new TV, and handed her a check for $10,000. A few days later, Ellen even gave her the keys to a brand new car!

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“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa