Single mom and waitress pays for soldier’s lunch, gets an unbelievable surprise


Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Those are the words Jesus uttered over 2,000 years ago. Whether we’re religious or not most of us believe it’s important to treat people well. We value kindness and desire to love people in the same way we want to be loved.

In a busy world, it’s easy for random acts of kindness to go unrecognized. We may receive a thank you from the stranger who dropped a five dollar bill we returned or a smile from the person we let merge in front of us on a crowded highway. Other times we do our deeds totally in secret and without any special accolades for our actions.

The story of a 22-year-old single mom and waitresses good deed touched my heart. Sarah Hoidahl is the mom of an adorable little boy. She works as a waitress at Ruby Tuesday in Concord, New Hampshire. One day two National Guard soldiers came in for lunch. They were discussing the menu and mentioned they needed to get a lighter lunch because they weren’t getting paid during the government shutdown. The waitress understood how they felt because she had financial difficulties of her own.

Instead of just feeling sorry for them, she acted with compassion. Sarah paid for their lunch and left them a heartwarming note of appreciation for their service. The note said, “Thanks to the government shutdown the people like you that protect this country are not getting paid, however I still am. Lunch is on me thank you for serving ladies! Have a good day!”

The story was posted on Facebook and caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. She flew Sarah out to be a part of her show. Sarah shared her story with Ellen and the audience got to see a picture of her precious son. Ellen paid her back for the money she spent on lunch and then gave her an amazing surprise. One that made this young mom weep for joy. I won’t give it away. You’ll have to watch the video for yourself.

This story made me cry. I work at a Pregnancy Resource Center which allows me to be in contact with single moms on a daily basis. I was also raised by a single mom. Trust me, it’s not an easy job. The majority of the women I work with are facing serious financial struggles. In the past two weeks I’ve had moms come in looking for food in addition to clothes and diapers. When your struggling with your own issues, it can be really hard to think about helping someone else. Our natural inclination is to hoard what we have to protect our own interests. This young mom didn’t think like that. In spite of her problems,she acted in love. Her good deed touched the hearts of millions.

This story also inspires me because this mom chose to keep and raise her child. Many young, single and pregnant girls fear giving birth to a child they can’t afford. Some chose abortion because of the fear of financial difficulties. I’m not sure if Sarah ever faced those fears, but it’s likely she has. Paying for the soldier’s lunch was a selfless deed, but it wasn’t the only one this mom should be recognized for.

Choosing to raise her son alone and working hard to support him is an even greater good deed that should be honored. That’s just another reason this mom deserves the reward she received. The moral of the story is this, life is hard and struggles exist but hope can still remain. Don’t drown in your sorrows, rather reach out to someone who’s hurting and help lift them up. In helping them, you too will be helped. Make selfless choices because they are the most rewarding. You may not receive the gift Sarah did, but you what you give out will come back to you.

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