CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (WJW) — A group of people decided to spread some holiday cheer in Cuyahoga Falls last week, making an impact on a local waitress.
For 11 years, Shelley Chavez has worked at Molly Brown’s Country Cafe in Cuyahoga Falls.
“I didn’t think in a million years I’d ever go through this, ever,” Chavez said.
On the morning of Dec. 13, a group of nearly 20 people sat down ready to give Shelley a gift she would never forget.
Patty Vickers organized the breakfast, asking each person to bring $100 after finding inspiration online through the ‘Shock for Claus’ movement.
“I saw a post on Facebook and I didn’t think I could do anything about it because I’m on unemployment, I’m not working currently,” Vickers said.
But after a friend reposted, Vickers knew this is what she wanted to do. She rounded up 16 other people, including the mayor, picking Molly Brown’s for their meal.
“I reached out, talked to Louie the manager and just said, ‘Can you house this many people on this day at this time?’ and ‘Do you have someone that can really benefit from a nice gift?’” said Vickers.
After the meal, Chavez was handed an envelope of cash to pay the bill and her tip.
“I just started crying and they had me count it and I couldn’t even count, and I’m good at math and I couldn’t even count because I was just so amazed,” she said.
They paid $1,700 for a less than $200 meal and Shelley got to keep the rest.
“We wanted to get something where the impact was to the server, not the bill, not the food,” said Vickers.
It has had an impact on Chavez and her husband.
“Game changer so it helped pay off some of our bills, you know, helped catch up… helped us a lot more than I can say, especially the way times have been lately,” Chavez said.
Both of these women say they give back to their community in whatever way they can.
“We need to make this grow. That there’s people out there that want to make an impact, they want to change the world for the better,” said Vickers.
“I’m hoping this will help other people pay it forward a little more. Even if it’s, like I said, a couple bucks helps anybody,” said Chavez.
Vickers said she plans to keep doing this act of generosity quarterly. She said many people have started reaching out interested in joining the group.