Waitress Cayla Chandara, 22, was serving an Australian couple last week at a Thai restaurant in Hawaii, Noi Thai Cuisine. Over polite conversation, she opened up about her personal life and the fact that she spends 80-hours a week working at two different restaurants in Waikiki.
“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,” Chandara tells local news station KHON.
After the Australian pair were finished with their $200 meal, they left behind a $400 tip.
Grateful for the gesture, Chandra delivered a thank you package with flowers, a dessert and a card to their hotel when she finished her shift.
“I never get tipped that big. I had to say thank you,” she explains.
The next day, the exchange went from generous to extraordinary. The Australian couple, who wish to remain anonymous, went back to the restaurant and offered to pay over $10,000 to clear her student debt and related expenses.
“I was like, ‘No way, you don’t have to do that for me. I just wanted to say thank you,’” Chandara recalls.
She eventually accepted the offer and plans to return to school to study business and liberal arts.
“I still don’t feel like it’s real. I want to run around in the streets.” Chandra says. “I want to make them proud. I will take this opportunity with an open heart.”
Chandra says there are still good people in the world and that the couple changed her life. In a text, the Australian couple told Chandra she can repay them with deed. “Be your best possible self, dream big and strive for your goals.”
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