Pregnant Single Mom Working as Waitress to Feed Family Gets $1300 Tip Before Christmas

Life is too short to hold grudges and harbor animosity because tomorrow isn’t promised. All we have is today and the chance to make each moment count.

In a delightful turn of events, a tipster engaged in a sweet gesture of kindness that went viral, captivating countless hearts.

Some events in life happen out of the blue but are powerful enough to leave a lasting impact on thousands of people. A similar scenario played out in a Pennsylvania eatery where a warm-hearted customer’s benevolence made a server’s day when she least expected it.

A Good Samaritan from Springettsbury Township, York County, knew precisely what he had in mind when he entered the Stonybrook Family Restaurant one day in December 2022. Keep scrolling as we take you through the complete story.

A Life-Changing Encounter
Ashley Barrett, a waitress at Stonybrook, was utterly oblivious to Jamie Michael Carmen’s existence and vice versa. They had never met or known about one another; however, it all changed on Saturday, December 10, when Barrett came to serve food for Carmen and his friend.

Touched by their generosity, he followed in their footsteps and reached out to his peers, who loved the idea and were thrilled to make it happen.

The Server Refused to Accept the Money
In a heartwarming video that has since become a viral sensation online, Barrett walked over to Carmen’s table to see if his experience at the restaurant was pleasant. To her astonishment, he asked her about the biggest tip she had received while serving, and she replied, “Maybe, like $100.”

What happened next came as a huge surprise to Barrett and the many netizens who watched the incredible video online. Carmen took out $1,300 and handed it to her, but the kind server refused to take the money and was swept over by indescribable emotions. In the clip, she could be heard saying:

“No, I cannot take that. I cannot take that.”

The Tipster’s Insistence
Barrett kept telling Carmen she couldn’t take it, but he refused to listen and told her politely, “Yes, you can. Listen, take $300 of it, spread [it] to them, and you keep $1,000.” Soon afterward, she erupted into tears and melted into Carmen’s comforting embrace. The viral video’s caption read:

“The best feeling ever!!!! Thanks to everyone that donated!!!!! Be kind people!!! Merry Christmas!!!!”

Although many might see it as an emotional exchange between a customer and a server, wait till you hear the underlying story and why Carmen chose Barrett as the recipient of the hefty amount. The York County resident said he wasn’t rich but made it happen thanks to his friends’ support.


The Incident that Inspired Him
Carmen revealed that he saw a soul-warming video in 2021 where a group of friends went to their local cafe and surprised the waitress with a tip of $100 each. Touched by their generosity, he decided to follow in their footsteps and reached out to his peers, who loved the idea and were thrilled to make it happen.

Thereafter, Carmen and his friends pitched in some money and went to Stonybrook, where Barrett was their server for the day. Upon handing the tip to the Pennsylvania waitress, Carmen said he couldn’t be more delighted because she was very deserving and grateful.

Ashley Barrett has an emotional meltdown as Jamie Michael Carmen hands her the tip. | Source:

Perfect Timing
Barrett was a single mother of a toddler with another child due in 2023. She will also be requiring wrist surgery after delivering her second baby. Moreover, once she nears her delivery date, she would have to take time off work, so Carmen’s random gesture of kindness had impeccable timing.

Carmen said he was humbled by his video’s overwhelming response, although he never did it to amass publicity. He added that many friends and colleagues contacted him afterward and shared their stories of helping others.

A Special Message
Reflecting on the phenomenal moment that proved life-changing not just for Barrett but also for him, Carmen shared one particular piece of advice for those who wished to do something for others:

“It doesn’t have to be $1,300. It could be opening a door, making small talk with someone, just [being] nice.”

The Online Response
Carmen posted the heart-melting footage on both Facebook and TikTok, where it garnered sheer love, support, and appreciation from the online community. Here are a few comments that people wrote:

“I’m not crying, you’re crying!!”

— (@morgan.feehery) December 10, 2022

“[That] young lady always has a smile on her face and works hard. You just made her smile even brighter over the holidays amazing stuff brother.”

— (@michael.hamilton.18294) December 10, 2022

“That is so awesome buddy you are a great guy (sic).”

— (@charles.nicholson.73) December 10, 2022

“Didn’t plan on crying today but here we are Great job guys! You can tell she was deserving of that just based off of her reaction (sic).”

— (@amber.walkoray) December 10, 2022

“Awe! Love this. Spreading that Christmas Cheer! Damn Jamie Michael Carmen Im gonna start calln u St. Nick (sic).”

— (@100000414918642) December 10, 2022

Thank you, Mr. Carmen, for spreading the much-needed holiday cheer and restoring our faith in humanity. We need more kind and generous people like you.

Click here to read another story about a seven-months-pregnant waitress who received a generous tip and a kind note from a policeman.

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