Millions of people around the country and the world struggle to make ends meet. They live paycheck to paycheck, squeezing every penny. It’s not always feasible for some to hop on a plane to visit family and friends. Such was the case for Mary Keaulana-Riotutar, an employee at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in Laredo, Texas. Mary was originally from Hawaii. Sadly, she hadn’t been home to see loved ones for six years. She couldn’t afford it.
“I miss my mom, my family, the food, the aloha, everything and well, I talk about it like, all the time,” she said in a Facebook post.
Not seeing our family and those we love for years seems unimaginable. Unfortunately, that’s what Mary had to deal with. Until her co-workers came up with an incredible idea. Over the next several months, they saved what money they could to buy a ticket for their friend. They did this despite their own expenses.
The big day of Mary’s surprise had arrived. While at the restaurant, everyone lined up and one employee told her she was in for a surprise.
They said to Mary, “I wish you the very best on your trip home.”
Mary was completely shocked by this fabulous news. It blew her away. She’d finally get to see her family after six years. This prospect made her cry.
Caution a very emotional video (for me):I don’t usually post this kind of stuff but for this to happen to ME like wow. Their are no words to express my gratitude. So I’ll start by saying if you all know me I’m not from Laredo, I’m from Hawaii & well I haven’t been home in about 5 or 6 years. I miss my mom, my family, the food, the aloha, EVERYTHING & well i talk about it like ALL THE TIME. So! Last week people that I haven’t even known for more than one year, my coworkers and friends decided to give me the biggest blessing that I have EVER received…a flight home!!! & as I’m typing this I can’t even find the words to describe how I feel or how to thank each & every person who pitched in for ME! I know I’m not the easiest person to get along with, but for those who are closest to me know that I’m ALWAYS gonna be there to help you WHENEVER you need help, support, or just a friend to talk to. So for this to happen to ME I can’t even believe it. Thank you my cheddars family for sending me home to my beautiful momma😭💚 P.S. I look scary when i cry🌚 It’s okay though it’s happy tears. #Onlyvisiting#Lookmydoublechin#Hawaiihomecoming2018.Update: If you wanna help send me home here’s my link! 💚🌸 Anything helps! Thank you so much in advance 😭https://www.gofundme.com/hawaii-homecoming-2018
Posted by Mary Keaulana-Riotutar on Wednesday, March 28, 2018
In the same post, she went on to say, “People that I haven’t even known for more than one year, my coworkers and friends, decided to give me the biggest blessing that I have EVER received: a flight home! And as I’m typing this, I can’t even find the words to describe how I feel or how to thank each and every person who pitched in for ME!”
What a fantastic gift. Mary has such wonderful friends. I think the best way she could thank them would be to enjoy her trip home.