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From Our Readers: Kindness, A Tipping Point

Yesterday we posted about Aaron Collins' last wish for his family to make a difference in the life of a waiter or waitress by leaving a $500 tip — an act of kindness that his family has thus far carried out, and documented, three times.

When it comes to generous tips, our readers have been on both the giving and receiving end.

When "Love Happiness" was in college and working at a gas station, a man paid $50 for a $12 gas bill:

"I went running out to tell him he mistakenly handed me the wrong bill. He checked his wallet and sure enough he had meant to give me the $20 bill instead. He paused for only a second and said, 'Keep it for your honesty'. It was one of my most important life lessons."

Darren Wilson makes a point to anonymously ease somebody's day at a local gas/convenience store:

"...every now and then I'll drop $50 on a $1.50 cup of coffee – instructing the cashier to pay for anyone's purchases (except gas and lottery tickets) until what's left of my $50 runs out."

Although, he says, $50 isn't $500, he still trusts his small act will "make more or less a dozen people catch a little break in their working day and maybe put a smile on their face."

Lizzie C worked as a server and bartender to pay for school. She celebrated her graduation by going out to eat and leaving a 100 percent tip. The celebratory 100 percent tip has since become a family tradition:

"We've done this at fancy places, but the best is at Waffle House! Since the food there is really cheap, we left $50 for our waitress and she chased us out into the parking lot thinking we meant to leave only $5 and made a mistake... we told her no mistake and she hugged us both a planted a huge smooch!"

Correction at 6:45 a.m. ET, Aug. 2: We mistakenly referred to Aaron Collins as Seth in the original version of this post. Seth is Aaron's brother. Our apologies.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marissa Alioto