When Rob Griffith went into work at St. Paul's Eagle Street Grill recently, he had no idea working that lunch shift would change his life.
A patron by the name of Seth Collins, of Kentucky, has been inspiring generosity in other just by following his brother's last wishes and leaving the occasional tip of $500.
“My brother, Aaron, wanted us to do this,” Seth Collins said.
Aaron Collins was always a big tipper, his brother said. But he passed away at the age of 30 and in his will, he asked that a server receive a $500 tip.
“He asked for us to leave a $500 tip for a waiter or waitress and I did. Posted online and people decided they wanted to see it happen again and again,” Seth Collins said.
Seth Collins videotaped the first big tip and put it online, where he found an appetite for goodwill.
Soon, donations upwards $60,000 allowed Seth Collins to keep the wish of his brother alive.
So at the Eagle Street Grill, Seth Collins and a woman, who was up until recently a complete stranger, changed the life of their server. A Minneapolis woman by the name of Erin heard what Seth Collins was doing and decided to match the tip he would leave in St. Paul.
With the 58th tip left by Seth Collins, Griffith would be left speechless.
“Today, I am here in St. Paul to leave an awesome tip for you. It's $500,” Seth Collins told Griffith.
And Erin, the woman inspired by Seth Collins' generosity, added to the moment.
“So, I am matching the $500. So, your tip today is $1,000,” Erin said.
Griffith said the generosity couldn't have come at a better time. A recent DUI left him on house arrest and without a car.
“Thank you. I really appreciate that … I don't know what to say,” Griffith said. “It's inspiring and motivational and made my whole month probably. So I am going to do that for someone else too.”
Seth Collins hopes his brother's memory will inspire Griffith.
“Hopefully this is a way it can be reminder – good things happen,” Seth Collins said.
Lindsey Seavert of KARE in Minnepolis-St. Paul filed this story.