In case you haven’t heard about it, we posted a story about this stranger who asked to be served by a single mother and ended up paying for a LOT more than just his own meal! He sat at his table for over two hours watching other families and keeping to himself…but every now and then, he would ask for the check of a family and pay it. At the end of his meal, he left a HUGE tip of $1,500, and when asked about it just said,
Family is everything, I’ve lost all mine.”
After his story went viral, he stepped forward to clarify a few things and to reach out to anyone who might be facing similar regrets. Briggs VanNess is no longer a stranger, and he has some inspiring things to tell the world.
I grew up with a single mother of six–we were poor and homeless a lot. I’d spend many nights at my mother’s friends’ houses, my mother was dying from cancer but somehow managed to survive. But I watched and suffered for years as I watched her work her hands to the bone to give us a good life. She raised us to be kind and help others. Many years down the road I was facing prison and getting in trouble and it ended up causing me to lose my family because I was a really terrible person.”
But he wouldn’t let his past keep him down.
Now it’s time to pay it back. I’m a successful business owner and I help as many as I feel that need it.”
The beautiful thing is that he wasn’t planning on letting anyone know that he had done it, but he felt that he should clarify an inaccuracy in the waitress’ story. He only paid $600 for the bills of families, not $1,000. We don’t really care how much he paid – the fact that he did it at all from the kindness of his heart is impressive enough!