It was a normal day at a Denny’s in Utah when a man came in and asked to have a waitress who was a single mother. Though an odd request, he was given a table in Crystal’s section. He sat there for two hours, just watching people come and go. Normally, someone who sits in a restaurant taking up a table for so long is considered a nuisance, but this man proved quite the opposite.
While he was in the restaurant, seven other families came in to eat. The man paid the bill for each of those families, adding up to more than $1,000. When another waitress asked him why, he simply replied, “Family is everything, I’ve lost all mine.” His answer was enough to make the waitress excuse herself because she couldn’t control her tears. But this man had one more good deed to do before he left.
In a Facebook post, the other waitress wrote, “I just wanted to let you know, the waitress Crystal that you requested was living in a shelter with her son until she was able to save up enough to get a place. Your bill was $21.34 and you left her a $1,500 tip, because of you she gets her new place next week, because of you 7 families ate for free.”
"Today I met an angel. You came into a Denny’s I work at in Utah. You asked me, ‘Can I have a waitress who is a single…
Later this man was identified as Briggs VanNess, a man with a painful past. “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 some how managed to survive,” said VanNess. “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.”
VanNess now says his life is different, and he is on the road to success.
“Many years of fighting my demons, I finally found the light. Now I’ve been helping others as I was raised to do, I spent many years becoming a better person. And 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.”
This amazing man was able to turn his loss into something beautiful, and undoubtedly touched the lives of many people that day.