Ellen DeGeneres is no stranger to kindness. She's become almost as notorious for gift giving as is Oprah Winfrey. She also regularly stands up to bullying and ostracism. She's not just a champion for gay rights but for all human rights. In other words, DeGeneres is just a nice, sweet person, and she enjoys seeing other people acting equally as wonderful.
So, when she found out about a waitress who paid two servicewomen's lunch tabs, she knew she had to do something kind for the waitress in return. DeGeneres showed her gratitude with a $10,000 check.
Here's the story:
Sarah Hoidahl, a 22-year-old waitress and single mom, was working a regular shift at Ruby Tuesday when two National Guard servicewomen came in for lunch. When she overheard the women discussing what to order and the fact that they'd have to eat light thanks to the government shutdown, Hoidahl wanted to help.
"It just got me thinking, 'Geez, that's really difficult'," Hoidahl said. "I'm a waitress and a single mother. I know how it is."
Instead of giving the women their check, Hoidahl left them a note telling them she'd picked up their $27.75 bill and thanking them for their service. That seems kind on its own, right? To put her kindness into even starker perspective, during her appearance on the show, Hoidahl admitted to the seriously funny host that after paying for their tab, she only came home with $8 at the end of her shift. Yikes!
Luckily for Hoidahl, the servicewomen were so overwhelmed by her kindness that they posted the note on Facebook, and it soon went viral. That's how DeGeneres found out about the random act of kindness.
While either of the women could have used that gesture as a chance to discuss the minimum wage or other politics surrounding our current economic situation, they decided to focus on the good. That started when DeGeneres wrapped Hoidahl in a hug and told her she was a good person. Then DeGeneres paid back Hoidahl for the $27.75 tab. Next, she gave the single mom a new TV after learning hers was broken. Finally, in one last effort to show Hoidahl just how remarkable her gesture was, DeGeneres wrote her a check for $10,000.
That certainly adds a whole new meaning to "paying it forward."
This is just another reason why we love DeGeneres and are so glad she'll be around until at least 2017. The best news: We haven't lost all faith in humanity yet!
Image courtesy of WENN