Sometimes the rewards of kindness can be ten-thousandfold, as was the case when talk show host Ellen Degeneres invited a good Samaritan waitress to her show after hearing about the act of kindness she had bestowed upon a couple of National Guardsmen. Not only did the popular comedian fly Sarah Hoidahl out to Hollywood to attend "The Ellen Degeneres Show," but she also reimbursed her for the check she picked up for the two New Hampshire National Guardsmen who had been affected by the recent government shutdown.
Yahoo Movies reported Oct. 19 that Degeneres gave Hoidahl $27.75.
And then she gave her a check for $10,000.
Ellen Degeneres caught wind of the story from producers who picked up the story from a Facebook posting by the New Hampshire National Guard describing the waitress' act of kindness.
According to Fox News, Hoildahl, who waits tables at a Ruby Tuesday in Concord, New Hampshire, recently waited on two National Guard members for lunch. With friends in the military -- and dating a Marine -- the two women's talk of furloughs resulting from the government shutdown, which meant they weren't getting paid, prompted her to act. Instead of presenting the soldiers with a check, she sent a note, which 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!"
And by providing the National Guard soldiers with good service and making their day, the 21-year-old mother of one became the focus of gratitude in a Facebook posting.
Which led to a trip to Hollywood...
Sarah Hoidahl couldn't believe her good fortune. She buried her face in her hands and began sobbing. Degeneres simply told her, "You're a good person."
Being a good person and a good waitress has paid off well for a few in recent months.
"The Upbeat" reported (via Yahoo News) in May that one waitress, after having told a complete stranger about her wish to visit Italy and see some relatives, received a $1,000 tip. On the receipt, the stranger, who simply walked out of the restaurant without saying a word, wrote: "Your ticket to Italy. Enjoy!!"
Yahoo News also reported on a story last year where a man named Seth Collins travels the country bestowing $500 tips to unsuspecting waitresses. He does it as a tribute to his brother, Aaron, whose dying wish was for his brother to leave an "awesome tip" for a waitress or waiter. ("And I don't mean 25%," he said, according to his family. "I mean $500 on a ****ing pizza.") But since Aaron didn't leave his family much money, they took to online fundraising to garner funds to do his bidding. In no time, they had collected $50,000, all of which they promise to spend in the manner Aaron Collins requested. The Collins' are also videotaping the reactions of the recipients of each $500 tip.
As for Sarah Hoidahl's example of paying it forward, Ellen Degeneres' monetary gifts weren't all she received for doing good by the soldiers. The popular talk show host also gave her a brand new 50-inch television.
"The Ellen Degeneres Show" is syndicated through Warner Bros. television and has received 34 Daytime Emmy Awards in 11 seasons.