A group of generous women gave the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.
On the Sunday before Christmas, 13 women entered a Wisconsin restaurant with one goal in mind: to gift their server with $1,300, Good Morning America reported. They gathered the money by contributing $100 each and sealing the gift in a signed Christmas card.
After being inspired by a similar act of kindness in another state, Jessica Greb decided to coordinate the incredible surprise, which ultimately benefited their waitress, Michele Ann Bachmann.
“Dining out and having someone else prepare your meal and clean up after you is something to not take for granted and is worthy of some recognition,” Greb said. “Michele was nothing short of gracious. She was an outstanding server who you could tell loved her job and was proud of where she worked.”
Bachmann began her shift at Mulberry’s Pancakes and Café in Union Grove on Sunday like any other day.
Unbeknownst to her, she would walk out of the restaurant more than $1,000 richer by the end of the night.
“A group of ladies came in that you could tell had the holiday spirit,” Bachmann told Good Morning America. “I asked what the group was and a lady told me it was a group of friends who invited other friends for a breakfast get together.”
“I thought it was an amazing idea and a wonderful holiday tradition to start,” she added.
It all started when Greb’s friend told her about another group that had left a generous tip for their server in celebration of the holidays. As the founder of the nonprofit Orchestrating Good, which works to give back to the Wisconsin community and hopes to inspire others to pay it forward, Greb quickly sprung into action.
“I drove past many times while taking my son to basketball, and for a reason I can’t explain, my heart led us there,” Greb said of choosing Mulberry’s as the special home for the group’s gift.
The random act of kindness was shared in a video posted on Orchestrating Good’s Facebook page.
“Thank you, are you sure?” Bachmann is heard saying in the clip when she first noticed what was inside of the card. “You’re kidding, right? Merry Christmas. Thank you so much, you don’t even know how I feel right now.”
Bachmann, who paid it forward by giving each of her co-workers $50 that day, suffered a tragic loss just two months ago when her sister died of cancer in October.
Her late sister was an avid Chinese food lover, so one of Bachmann’s plans for the money is to treat her sister’s family with a Chinese dinner outing and ice cream.
She also aims to use some of the money to secure a hotel room near the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where her mother is currently being treated for an undiagnosed condition that has landed her in a wheelchair.
Bachmann also plans to stay close by and keep her mom company while she receives tests and treatment in hopes of a clear diagnosis.
Additionally, she plans to use the money to gift her family’s new puppy with something fun.
“My granddaughter said not to forget a toy for our puppy we adopted a week ago from Hope Safehouse in Racine, Wisconsin,” she said.