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Waitress Gets A Confusing Phone Call After Regular Customer Stops Showing Up

Sherry Rucherman

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There are many reasons why people go out to eat which range from not wanting to do dishes to the desire to try new food. Unfortunately, those who have spent time working as a waiter or a waitress will say that the job is far from easy. One of the most challenging parts of the job is taking care of customers who are grumpy. There was one waitress in particular at a Luby’s restaurant in Texas who was known for her friendly service and her kind demeanor, even in the face of less than polite customers. 

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Melina Salazar was working as a waitress at a restaurant called Luby’s. Located in Texas, she was known for her smile as well as her service. Furthermore, she also had a reputation for being the only server who was able to adequately take care of one regular.

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Walter Swords, who was nicknamed Buck, was a veteran of World War II. He was known at the restaurant for having a short temper. He was always very demanding of the staff. He was picky and cranky, always getting inpatient. His reputation preceded him.

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Even though he was known for treating the staff poorly, Melina would always show up with a smile on her face, ready to take his order. She took care of him every day for seven years, always making sure that his food was hot and ready.

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She always made sure that his confusing orders were perfect and took the time to ask how he was doing. The rest of the staff was mystified regarding how she remained so happy in the face of such a tough customer. Perhaps she knew something that they didn’t.

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There eventually came a day when Walter didn’t show up to Luby’s. He didn’t come in the next day either. Melina was starting to wonder what had happened to him. How could she figure out if something was wrong or not?

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Melina started to flip through the local paper, looking for information on him. Eventually, she found it. There it was, his obituary was printed in the paper. Melina was heartbroken. Never again would this customer visit her restaurant. Despite his reputation, she was saddened at the loss of her regular.

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Always the professional, Melina went back to her job. She continued to take care of her customers just as she always had. She made sure that she always had the same smile on her face, putting the customer first. But the story was not over.

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For years, Melina had worked very hard to make sure that the war veteran was always taken care of, despite how picky he could be. Even though she thought she was just doing her job, Buck noticed her hard work. He noticed her kindness and patience.

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As a war veteran, Buck knew the meaning of hard work. He knew how hard Melina had worked during her years taking care of him. Therefore, prior to his passing, he decided to mention Melina in his will. This was a way for him to show his appreciation for his favorite, hardworking waitress.

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Eventually, the lawyers for Buck located Melina. They contacted her to let her know that Buck hadn’t just mentioned her in the will. He left her $50,000 along with his car. Melina didn’t know what to say. Buck’s generosity had absolutely overwhelmed her.

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Of course, Melina had no idea that her hard work would lead to such generosity; however, she was glad to see that her smile and persistence had been rewarded. Even though her efforts were voluntary, Buck knew that they were worth something more. Her caring nature had been well-rewarded.

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Fortunately, Melina’s story is not the only story of impressive generosity. A similar story had been passed around a few years ago. A famous art dealer from New York City went out to eat at a local restaurant and left a couple of workers there a large sum of money.

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This one takes place at a steakhouse called Donohue’s, located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. One of the regular patrons traveled a lot for work; however, when he was home, he frequented the steakhouse. He always made sure to tip everyone well, even the busboys and the cooks in the back. 

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One of the owners, who also doubles as a waitress, is named Maureen Donohue-Peters. She and her niece spent their lives working hard to make Donohue’s a success. Maureen was always excited to see this patron come in and even considered the individual a friend. What made this individual so generous?

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Robert Ellsworth is known as an art collector. Even though he was incredibly wealthy, he was also known for being humble and generous. He always asked everyone to call him Bob and made sure that all those around him felt welcome. He never acted like he was better than anyone else and tried to use his wealth for good.

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Many people called Robert Ellsworth the King of Ming. He specialized in locating and collecting works of art, including furniture, from the Ming Dynasty in China. His talent for collecting art and designing exhibits made him one of the most well-known art collectors in the world. Even though he traveled all of the world collecting art, he always felt like he was right at home at Donohue’s Steakhouse.

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For lunch, Robert would always get the same thing. He would get a grilled cheese with bacon but made it open faced. His dinner meal was also similar, asking for steak prepared his favorite way. He always ordered it with onions and even shared his meal with his puppy, a golden retriever. His generosity knew no bounds.

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He was also known to treat others to lunch and dinner regularly as well. In some cases, he would ask his driver or other friends to eat with him. He also tried to make sure that the restaurant staff got to know his dog, a golden retriever. Over the years, those who worked at the restaurant got to know Robert and his dog well. He treated everyone there as a friend.

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Unfortunately, Robert Ellsworth passed away in 2015. As he passed, he did not forget about the time he spent at Donohue’s and how well the staff took care of him. He left Maureen and her niece, who also worked at the restaurant, $50,000 each in his will. Maureen was blown away but said she would return it if it would bring Robert back.

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Maureen made sure that everyone remembered Robert Ellsworth for his generosity. She was not the only one to benefit from his kindness over the years and those who knew him would agree. It is always heartwarming to see wealthy individuals using their resources to help others, particularly those who work hard to care for them.


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Waitress Evoni Williams worked the morning shift at Waffle House in La Marque, Texas. It was a hectic shift for the 18-year-old woman, but she still found the time to help when an elderly man asked her to help him cut the ham on his plate. 


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Adrien Charpentier, the elderly gentleman (78-year old man), was also partially disabled. He needed help, and Williams was willing to take time out of her haphazard duties to make sure that he got the help he needed. She didn’t even think twice about helping him. She just thought it was the right thing to do. 


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Charpentier started talking with Williams. He told her that he had most recently been in the hospital. He was wearing an oxygen mask, and he told Williams that he was losing muscle tone in his hands. He could hold the knife, but it looked like he was “stabbing” the meat–not a great impression in a busy restaurant. He just needed help. That’s why he asked Williams to help him to cut his food. It had just become very difficult for him to do it himself. 


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Waffle House customer, Laura Wolf, saw Williams cutting the man’s ham, and snapped a photo of the pair. She was impressed by the act of kindness, and she wanted to share the story with her social media followers. It was one of those moments when the whole community responded to applaud the act of selfless kindness, giving back to someone who just needed a helping hand. 


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Waffle House has actually been bringing people together for a long time, since the restaurant was first founded in 1955. The focus of the restaurant has always to offer the best food combined with outstanding service. The level of service also reinforces the power of how Williams acted, in helping Charpentier with his food. It was a simple act of kindness, but it struck a cord. 


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Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner founded the first restaurant in Avondale Estates, Georgia; and most of the 2,100 subsequent restaurant locations have been in the South. It’s a cultural icon in the region, which is also why Williams found herself employed by the Waffle House in Texas. The idea behind the restaurant was to offer a delicious food option that was both fast, but also available at all hours. It’s wholesome food, when people need it the most, and that’s just the type of service that Williams offered.


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Within seconds of posting that touching photo of Williams helping Charpentier, the post went viral. Everyone involved received so much more attention than they probably could have ever imagined. Thousands of people were touched by the story, but they also responded by giving back to Williams as a thank you for the care that she had shown for Charpentier. 


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The community learned that Williams was earning a low wage as a waitress. As part of the outpouring of thanks for her kindness, the La Marque community creating a crowdfunding page to request donations to help her with her dream of pursuing a higher education.  


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The act of kindness received so much attention that even Mayor Bobby Hocking joined in on the thanks and congratulations to Williams. The mayor came to Waffle House for the event, and he also announced that he had named a day after Williams. 


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The celebratory ceremony was touching and refreshing to those in the community and also to some 400,000 followers who had started following the story across the internet. They also wanted to reward her act of kindness in ways that none of the people initially involved could have imagined. It’s certain that Williams could have never known that she’d receive a college scholarship or other special consideration.  

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A representative from Texas Southern University handed Williams a check for a $16,000 scholarship. It was part of the outpouring of appreciation from the community, but it was more targeted to Williams and expressed a desire to help her on her road to success.


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The Texas Southern University reps discovered that Williams wanted to pursue a degree in Business Management, so the scholarship was really designed to allow her to follow her dreams.


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Texas Southern University and the entire community also wanted to make sure that Williams had all the help she needed for signing up for college and determining the best path forward for her future. So, they also set her up with a college guidance counselor.


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The City of La Marque (and the mayor) wanted to honor Williams, but also they wanted to help her succeed. It was a way for the mayor to show his dedication to the city’s youth, but also to clearly demonstrate how he planned to help one remarkable young lady to follow her dreams and succeed in college and in life. 


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The mayor saw her as a symbol of a level of human kindness he wanted to encourage both in the youth and in the community at large. It was really that symbolic feeling that went viral, and it was also why he decided to name the day, March 8th, “Evoni ‘Nini’ Williams Day.”


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The outpouring of kindness was a complete surprise to Williams. She told everyone that she would have done the same thing again, even if nobody had ever noticed. Her selflessness points to the kind of person she is, and also indicates how the community appreciates her and wants her to succeed. 

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Time will tell regarding how the future of that 18-year-old young woman will turn out. That act of kindness, though, is not something that will ever really be forgotten by the community, by Williams, and by the recipient of that kindness: Charpentier. It would be great if we could expect to find that level of service everywhere we go, but that’s just not always possible. 

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Dog Survives Cancer By Wearing Outlandish Costumes

Leslie Tander

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Whenever dogs and cats get spayed or neutered, they have to wear the “cone of shame.” It’s that big uncomfortable plastic cone that keeps them from being able to bite at their stitches- which would be pretty messy and unpleasant for everyone. But, anyone who has ever had a pet in the cone of shame knows- they really hate it. Sometimes they try furiously to get out of it, and sometimes they just lay down and whine- but that ALWAYS hate it.

But we found one exceptional case of a golden retriever that actually seemed to enjoy his come. Rusty is a 9-year-old retriever who had a rare case of bladder cancer. Fortunately, Mary and Madeline are very proactive about Rusty’s health and take him in for checkups regularly. Rusty’s cancer was spotted and diagnosed early. That gave Mary and Madeline a lot of hope- but naturally, they were very worried about their furry pal. Rusty didn’t show any signs of illness, except for visible weakness in his left hind leg, which he would favor. This, it turned out to be caused by pain in his abdomen when he put weight on the leg.

After being diagnosed, he was scheduled quickly and put on a regimen of chemo. The surgery went well, but Rusty had to wear the cone, as well as having to be forced to take a long period of rest. Because Rusty is a very energetic character, his rest period had to be chemically enforced. Rusty had to take medicine to make him calm enough to get through his rest period.

But Rusty’s owners Mary and Madeline had an idea to help Rusty get through his recovery, as well as to help fund his medical bills. It was around Halloween, and the two started making creative costume designs out of Rusty’s cone of shame.

They first turned him into a martini with a toothpick and olives made from construction paper. Then they turned his cone into a shark’s head with teeth, eyes, and fins. Then they make him into a “shush puppy” with wadded up, colored packing paper and a straw made from a tube. At one point Rusty found himself transformed into a submarine with a hull and a domed window. He was made into a space alien, a bowling ball, a long list of cocktails, a ghost, and many other outlandish things.

Not surprisingly, Mary and Madeline took some heat from online communities for their creative use of Rusty’s cone. People said it was abusive. They said it was a waste of their time. And sometimes they said truly awful things because- well, this is the Internet. But Mary and Madeline could see that Rusty was having as much fun as they were- and the support, both emotionally and financially, was overwhelming.

Rusty loved the laughs and the attention he was getting and started to really get into his costumes. On top of that, Rusty developed a hearty following on Instagram as his costumes grew wilder and more imaginative.

Eventually, Rusty’s cone was removed and he made a full recovery. While some derided the use of his medical predicament as something to be made fun of, others could see that Rusty was having as much fun as his owners. But perhaps best of all, many other pet owners with pets donning the cone of shame have made a tradition out of dolling up their medically yoked pets.

As for Rusty, he’s somewhat of a pioneer, as well as a cancer survivor. And he still enjoys having creative costumes made for him even though he no longer has his cone for them to be built upon.

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6 Year Old Boy Stands Against Bullying With a Custom T-Shirt

Sherry Rucherman

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Bullying is a big problem in today’s schools. In fact, 20-30% of students admit to being bullied, and 70% of teachers and students say they have witnessed bullying. However, this isn’t the issue you would expect to be on a 6-year-old boy’s mind when he considers the first day of school. For Blake Rajahn of Georgia, this is exactly what was on his mind. He saw an opportunity to do something about it, and he took it.

Mom Asks a Simple Question

Blake’s mom, Nikki, had recently started her own business making personalized apparel and home goods. She told him he could choose a shirt with anything he wanted on it as a first day of school present. She expected him to ask for what most boys his age would, a cartoon character or a sports theme. What he said surprised her and made her extremely proud.

Nikki says she told Blake, “I will make him any shirt he would like. It could have anything- a basketball theme, football, etc. which are all his favorites”. 

A Heartwarming Yet Surprising Answer

Blake went far beyond Nikki’s expectations with his response. He replied, “Will you please make me a shirt that says ‘I will be your friend’ for all the kids who need a friend to know that I am here for them?”

Blake’s T-shirt was bright orange with “I will be your friend” in green block letters. While most kids just attempt to keep their head down and fit in, Blake chose to stand out as much as possible to spread his message of friendship and kindness. 

Social Media Popularity

Blake’s mom did what any proud parent would do, and posted a picture and the story behind it on Facebook. Her intention was simply to share the moment with those close to her. However, the post went viral. Soon she had others wanting the shirt as well.

Not Just Business as Usual

She states that she had many people ordering the same shirt or shirts with a similar positive message, with many including #blakesfriends in honor of Blake. Nikki sells the custom T-shirts for $15 each. She is also giving back to the local community.

A portion of each t-shirt sold goes to Real LIfe Center, a local church charity. The Real Life Center offers lots of help to needy families in the community, including food pantries, financial counseling, and senior programs.

She took things a step further as well, and allows people to donate money for shirts for those who want one but can’t afford them. It seems Blake seems to have learned about caring for others from the best place possible, his mom.

This heartwarming story is a great reminder that the youngest of us can sometimes teach the greatest lessons. It also shows that a small thing like a custom t-shirt can start a movement and create positive change in the world. 

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Sky Brown Looks to Catch Air at 2020 Olympics

Sherry Rucherman

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When you were 11, your biggest goals probably included climbing trees, playing Little League and eating ice cream. Sky Brown wants to win the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Brown already landed her spot on Team Great Britain as a skateboarder. She’s determined to compete at as young an age as possible, to show other children that their age should not determine their abilities.

“I would like to go to the Olympics while I’m young — I don’t really wanna be 16 or something going to the Olympics [for the first time],” she told FanSided. “I wanna be young and show every girl that you can do it, just go for it — even though you’re little.”

Her mom hails from Japan, while her dad comes from Great Britain. Although her favorite skating spot is in Miyazaki City Skate Park in her hometown of Miyazaki, Japan, Brown chose to compete on the British Olympics team. 

It might seem wild to say chose, but Brown has her pick of teams since wowing the crowds and judges as the youngest female competitor in a Vans Pro tournament at the  2016 Vans US Open Pro Series. She was eight. Although she wiped out on a maneuver, she impressed coaches, commentators and judges with one commentator putting it mildly when he said, “She skates bigger than she is.”

Brown already leads an international lifestyle since she normally lives and trains in Japan, but competes in California, USA. She now trains with Team Great Britain. She’s competed professionally since the age of seven.

“I just love skateboarding. It’s my happy place,” Brown told CBS News. “Even if I fall or if I get hurt, that won’t stop me to do what I love.”

Until making the GB Olympic team, she did not have a coach. Her father initially taught her to skateboard and surf, but once she went pro, she’s been on her own. She learned to skateboard at age three, but since she was seven has taught herself from YouTube videos. Brown watches other skaters’ videos and after careful study, practices the moves and tricks until she perfects it.

Aside from her message to all youth that age does not impact your ability to make an impact, she also wants young women to know that you can be a female athlete and still love being what she refers to as a “girly-girl.” 

“I love makeup, dresses, jewelry. I want girls to know that they can be a girly-girl and do sports,” she said in an interview.

She took a short break from skating to prove that with her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” Brown partnered with JT Church to win the initial season of DWTS: Juniors bringing home the mirror ball trophy as the youngest contestants in the DWTS history.

She might be one of the youngest feminists inspiring young women today. Brown says that in her native Japan, many girls eschew sports. As a lover of skateboarding, surfing, makeup and dresses, she wants girls of all ages to understand that choosing athletics does not mean giving up traditionally feminine things.

“In Japan, there are a lot of girls that don’t participate in sports and it is looked at more as something for boys to do,” she said in an interview with Teen Vogue. “I want to change this so girls can see they can do the same activities as boys if not better. Girls can do anything and we shouldn’t care what people say. Just do it and have fun.”

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