Never underestimate the potential kindness of total strangers.
Chrisi Kemp, a 37-year-old bartender in Wake Forest, North Carolina, learned this lesson unexpectedly on Sept. 11 when a local man walked into One Whirled Café where she works and ordered a few drinks, reported Today.com. After they struck up a casual conversation and he settled his bill of $14.01, he left Kemp a $1,000 tip and insisted she keep it.
"I looked down and was shocked," she told Today.com. "I said, 'You don’t have to do that.' And he said, 'Do you need it? Well, then keep it,' and he pushed the bill back to me ... I didn’t know if I was going to cry or what."
The stranger's generosity could not have arrived at a better time for Kemp -- she was struggling with medical bills after her 5-year-old daughter had fallen ill in recent months, and her washing machine broke earlier that day before she came in for her shift, according to ABC 11 News. She has waited tables for the past 16 years, never anticipating that something like this could happen to her.
When she asked the customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, why he was insisting on helping her, Kemp told Today.com, "He said he believes in karma and it was my turn."
Kemp called the customer several days later and confirmed that he still wanted her to have the money before cashing it in, according to ABC 11. It had been a slow night at the café, so Kemp decided to share some of her tip with two of her coworkers as well, reported ABC News.
"I'm still speechless about some parts of it," she told the outlet. "I just can't even believe. I'm thankful for it because I needed the money. I do what I can I'm a very giving person myself. I just can't believe it happened to me."