53-year old mother of two, Janet Ballard who works as server in a Georgia restaurant was recently “blessed” by a generous group of 12 who left her a $1,200 tip for her good service.
Janet works at a Cracker Barrel in Dublin, Georgia and has been a waitress there for over a ten years now. She went to work last week as she’d normally would. Lunch time came around and she was assigned to a table of 12 who decided to be a blessing to her.
“I connected with them immediately,” Ballard told TODAY Food. “I’m a people person. I start with greeting them and finding out what needs they have, if they have allergies or whether they’re vegan. Everything that they can possibly need or want I try to hone in on those things when I’m taking that individual order.”
The group handed her a greeting card at the end of their meal. She didn’t think much of it at first, but she was surprised when she saw the card was filled with cash!
“Counting the money, I got so choked up by the time I got to $400. They wanted me to count out loud. By the time I got to $400 I was like ‘oh my goodness this is really happening,’” Ballard said.
“I got so emotional and I don’t really like to cry with a camera in my face, but I didn’t even care at this point,” she continued. “I had 12 total strangers saying, ‘Hey, we care enough about you because of how you made us feel while we were dining and we want to be a blessing to you and your family.’”
One member of the group that blessed Ballard with cash, James Deal, said each one contributed $100 because they felt it was the right thing to do. He wrote on Facebook, “What a wonderful day with friends as we celebrate our 1st Annual 100 dollar breakfast. We all gave our waitress Janet a $1200.00 tip.”
Ballard, after being blessed, decided to pay it forward. After her shift, she ate a seafood restaurant where she also “blessed” her server with a big tip.
“Because of the gift of love and caring and sharing I’m able to not only be a better Janet, but I am able to be an example for people this time of year who don’t have hope,” Ballard said.