Sammy Nickalls
April 29, 2015 8:26 am

The customary percentage to tip a waiter or waitress is 20%, but you may tip more to support your servers, or simply because you loved the service. But have you ever tipped 6800%? Most of us would probably say no, obviously. . . except for this anonymous restaurant-goer.

Let’s back up for a second. It all started back in 2012, when Richard and Samantha Specht suffered a devastating loss: their 22-month-old son, Rees,  tragically drowned in their backyard pond, according to FOX Chicago. The Specht family (understandably) couldn’t bear to look at the pond, but a local nursery filled it in for them and turned it into a beautiful garden, free of charge.

“People were so kind to us when we lost him, and they wouldn’t take any money from us,” Samantha Specht told FOX Chicago on the brink of tears. “[Rees] always wanted to make everybody happy, so we wanted to do that for others.”

This act of kindness on the part of the nursery inspired the Specht family to make others happy in their time of need. That’s why they started the ReesSpecht Life foundation, named after their son. The foundation aims to spread acts of kindness, accompanied with a “Pay It Forward” card per act, which you can order for free online.

100,000 acts of kindness is a lot of happiness, but with one of the latest acts, the Spechts have really been able to see how much their organization has inspired others.

On his blog a few days ago, Richard Specht, a science teacher, explained that he recently received a brief e-mail from someone who wished to remain anonymous. “My mouth sat agape as I stared at a picture [attached to the email]. . . that showed a restaurant receipt with a $3,000.00 tip on it,” Richard wrote. “I literally did a double, even triple take. In staring at that receipt I never noticed the name and it wasn’t until I read the note did I realize that it was a former student of mine.”

The photo, pictured below, shows the receipt with the whopping tip, along with a note from the anonymous donor explaining the “requirements” of the donation.

“Thank you for your kindness and humility,” the note read. “My teacher in middle school had such a difficult experience a few years ago which has sparked me to do this. My only requirements are: 1) Go to and learn! 2) Don’t let ‘Pay it forward’ end with you. 3) Since it’s about the idea and not about you, or me, if you decide to share this, don’t use either of our names! Thank you for being around for all of my shows on and off Broadway. I hope that someday someone gives as much love and happiness into the world as you do.” BRB, wiping away tears.

Richard went on to explain that he hadn’t even seen his student for a decade. “To think that someone I had a decade ago would honor my little boy or even remember his 8th grade science teacher in such a way blows me away,” Richard continued on his blog. “. . . what I received last night was affirmation that I made a difference in that young man’s life, and in return he honored my little boy with a gesture that is almost unfathomable. That is all any of us really ever wants, isn’t it? To know that we made a difference in this world.”

Thank you to the Spechts for transforming a major tragedy into a beautiful organization, and for this anonymous donor for changing the life of this server forever. <3

Images via