The holidays are a season of giving. We donate to our favorite charities, slip a few bucks into the red kettle for the Salvation Army, and buy gifts for needy children. We might even volunteer our time feeding homeless families at a soup kitchen or shelter. 

But some folks take the idea of giving to a whole new level!

This season, members of the Grand Lake United Methodist Church in Celina, Ohio, were challenged by their pastor, Reverend Mick Whistler, to be more generous. 

After the Christmas Eve church service, a group of several dozen congregants went to the Waffle House in Wapakoneta.

Sadly, church-goers have a reputation for leaving measly tips, so the servers weren’t necessarily excited to see them. Little did they know they were in for a huge surprise.

After their meal, the good folks left their tip in cash. When the waiters saw it, they couldn’t believe their eyes.

Reverend Whistler had issued a challenge to set aside cash in the weeks leading up to the holiday and then donate it. This group of congregants had saved up $3,500 and gave it all to the waitstaff! They told them to split the money amongst themselves. Each would receive approximately $700!

Several church members drove to the Waffle House just to see the surprise, adding to the joy and pandemonium of the moment.

Imagine what the staff at the restaurant could do with just $100, let alone $700! This meant they could put money aside in savings, pay off bills, and even buy a gift or two.

What Reverend Whistler challenged his church members to do isn’t hard. It only takes a little effort and the consideration of others to make it happen.

We hope these waiters will pay it forward and continue this giving spirit. Imagine how many more lives could be improved and uplifted!

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