Cayla Chandara, a struggling student faced with debt and the high cost of living, works as a waitress at two different restaurants in Waikiki.
One night last week, while waiting on a couple from Australia, they struck up a conversation.
“They asked me where I was from, and I told them I moved here for school but I was kind of in a little bit of debt and I couldn’t go back to school, because I couldn’t afford it and the cost of living here,” Chandara said.
The visitors rang up a $200 bill, paid their tab and left.
Chandara says she was shocked to see the tip was double the bill at $400.
“I just thought it was so generous of them. I never get tipped that big. I had to say thank you,” she said. “During dinner, they told me where they were staying, so I ran there after work to see if they’d still be there.”
They were, and Chandara was able to give them a thank-you card and flowers.
Pretty cool, right?
Wait, there’s more.
The next day the couple, who wish to remain anonymous, returned to the restaurant and offered to help her pay off her more than $10,000 in student loans and debt.
“I was like, ‘No way, you don’t have to do that for me. I just wanted to say thank you,’” Chandara said. “I still don’t feel like it’s real. I want to run around in the streets.”
The couple wanted to remain anonymous, but told Chandara the best way to thank them was to be her best possible self.
“I want to make them proud. I will take this opportunity with an open heart and be a better person that I can be every day,” Chandara said.
Cayla says that she plans to study liberal arts and business now that she is able to return to school.
See? Not everything in the world is terrible.
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