For months, Cayla Chandara has been a waitress at two different restaurants, pulling double shifts just to make ends meet. The 21-year-old moved to Waikiki, Hawaii, from Santa Rosa, California, for school.
But with student loans and the high cost of living, Chandara didn’t want to slip into debt. Instead of continuing her education, Chandara decided to take a step back. She accepted a job hoping to save up enough money so she could return to school one day. Chandara was serving two “life-long friends” and a 10-year-old girl visiting from Australia. They struck up a conversation, asking Chandara why she moved to Hawaii. Chandara told them about school and her dreams for the future.
The waitress thought the customers were just being polite. But as she cleared their table and collected their $200 tab at the end of the night her jaw-dropped. The tip was $400 — double their bill.
Chandara recalled where the couple said they were staying, and decided she would swing by after her shift to thank them properly. She left it at the hotel’s front desk and slipped out — never expecting to see the tourists ever again.
The next night, the woman and the little girl returned to the restaurant. They told Chandara they would like to give her $10,000 to pay off her student loans and to contribute to her continuing her college education.
Chandara was at a loss for words.