A Man Left His Servers A $10,000 Tip On A $32 Bill To Honor Someone Very Special In His Life

​The gesture left the staff in tears and left a wonderful legacy for the friend he recently lost.

large tip at a restaurant MargJohnsonVA / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes the best way to honor someone you've lost is to do something kind for someone else, and one man in Benton Harbor, Michigan recently proved just how much of an impact that kind of generosity can make.

The man left his servers a $10,000 tip on a $32 bill.

The staff at Benton Harbor's Mason Jar Café were shocked — in the best way possible — when a man from out of state recently visited their restaurant for some breakfast. 


Linsey Boyd, the server who waited on the gentleman, who has asked to remain anonymous, said she was so at a loss for words when she picked up the man's $32 check to see a five-figure tip that she spontaneously "just gave him a hug."

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The man left his servers the $10,000 as a way to honor a dear friend whose funeral he'd just attended. 

Boyd told WSBT-TV in nearby South Bend, Indiana that after she hugged the customer, he explained that "he had just left the memorial of someone very dear to him, and he just wanted to do something really kind and generous in her name."

The gentleman had just one stipulation — that Boyd pay it forward by sharing the enormous tip with her colleagues. Boyd didn't even hesitate, divvying up the 10 grand among her eight coworkers, each receiving $1250. 



Two of her fellow servers, Ava White and Jessica Ulrich, said they were as pleasantly surprised by Boyd's generosity as she was by the diner's. And they both agreed that if anyone on staff at Mason Jar Café deserved a windfall, it was her.


"It was really kind of her to split it with all eight of us," White said.

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The $10,000 tip has made a huge impact on some staffers' lives — just as the man intended. 

Sure, the gentleman brightened Boyd's and her coworkers' day. But his generosity has actually made a real difference in some workers' lives. 

One worker told the Detroit Free Press that she can finally pay for her child's driver's ed courses. Another said she can at last go on a family vacation for the first time in years.  

Benton Harbor is an economically disadvantaged part of Michigan, following a downturn that began in the 1960s when white residents largely abandoned the town for neighboring St. Joseph when Black workers began moving to the once thriving city to work in its industrial sector. The city remains nearly 85% Black to this day, and the decades of resulting disinvestment have culminated in recent years in a horrifying water contamination crisis that some say rivals even the infamous one in nearby Flint, Michigan. 




But the town is looking up nowadays. The water is improving, revitalization plans are coming together, and the community remains tight-knit.

And Mason Jar's owner Tim Sweeney says that what happened in his restaurant in recent days is more indicative of Benton Harbor's character than the tragic headlines that have been bandied about for decades.

"There’s a lot of good that goes on here," he told the Free Press. "It’s a vibrant, growing community that’s getting brighter." 


On Facebook, he expressed his gratitude to the customer, his staff and fellow Benton Harbor citizens for the much-needed good they're putting out into their community and the world in general. 

"To everyone doing what they can for themselves, and for others, we see you, thank you, and appreciate you," he wrote. "Keep sharing the love where you can."

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.