A south suburban waitress and single mom received an incredibly generous tip thanks to one anonymous stranger and the "2020 Tip Challenge."
Shannon Vargas, a server at the Original Pancake House in Oak Lawn, said she was recently nearing the end of the day when she picked up a credit card receipt that was folded on one of her tables. When she unfolded it, the bill for $36 had a tip of $2,020.
"I poked my head around the corner, asked her if it was a joke, and she was like 'no.' After that I was in tears. It was a crazy day for me," Vargas said.
The receipt also came with a little message for the waitress: "...because everyone needs help sometimes."
Vargas, the mother of two teenagers, was once homeless and now lives in a hotel with her children. She hopes the tip will help her with the goal of getting her own home.
"The woman who did it did not know Shannon's story," said Megan Mayer, assistant manager of the Original Pancake House. "That is what was so touching to us is that it just remind us that there are good people out there."
The "2020 Tip Challenge" encourages people to give back by tipping $20.20 or $2,020 if their budget allows. It gained attention in the Chicago area after celebrity couple Donnie Wahlberg, and Jenny McCarthy gave a similar tip to a server at an IHOP restaurant in St. Charles on New Year's Day.