In February, the restaurant called her back to work. About two weeks in, she picked up someone’s shift and waited on a young couple whose bill totalled $46.96.
Hales said she treated the couple just like she would any customers. But when they left, she noticed they were extra generous with the tip.
“I thought it was a $20 tip at first,” she told Fox News. “I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a $20 tip on a $40 check. That’s amazing.’”
Looking closer, she saw the total and realized it was a much larger gratuity — $200.
“They didn’t even stick around for me to see it. They wanted no recognition from it at all,” Hales said.
“I was just blown away,” she added. “That’s amazing.”
A few days later, Hales was working another shift and waited on another couple entirely. Similarly, their meal only came to $44.72, but they left triple-digit tip as well.
“Same thing,” Hales said. “They didn’t even — they wanted no recognition for it … I went to look at [the receipt] and it was $100.”
“I started crying, both times,” Hales said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”
Aside from waiting on big parties, Hales said she has “never received tips like this.”
But then tragedy struck. Two weeks later, on March 9, Hales got a call from her mom, telling her that her 29-year-old brother, who lives in Florida, was in the hospital. According to WSET, her brother had suffered three heart attacks.
Hales told Fox News that doctors gave him a 1% chance of survival.
“I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I have to get down there if I want to see him,’” Hales said.
Thanks to the money she recieved, she took a flight down to Florida the very next day in order to see him one last time. Hales spent the week with her family, and attended her brother’s funeral on March 13, which was also her birthday.
When Hales booked her flight back home to Lynchburg, she realized the total cost of her tickets — to Florida and back — ended up being exactly $300, the same amount she had received in tips a few weeks before.
Hales said that without the tips, she likely wouldn’t have been able to see her brother or spend time with her family during such a difficult time.
“God must have sent them to me,” Hales said.