A struggling singer was startled by a waitress' rudeness and so he decided to surprise her with an unexpected gesture.
Josh Hallaren wanted to be a singer, but the only place where he could get people to listen to his songs was on the streets, or on the subway. He'd stand on the street corner or on the platform with his guitar and sing his heart out.
Often people would stop to listen and leave a few dollars in his guitar case, money Josh was saving up for a one-hour session in a small studio. He knew that once he got his music out there he'd be a star.
The struggling singer's act of kindness went viral | Source: Shutterstock.com
One afternoon, Josh had been singing on a street corner outside a small restaurant, and the owner himself had stopped to enjoy his music. The man filmed Josh with his phone and smiled.
"That's a great song," he said, "When you finish your set, come in for lunch and I'll give you a 50% discount on your meal!"
Josh grinned at the man and thanked him. An hour later, he walked into the restaurant and ordered a hamburger. Unlike her boss, the waitress was anything but friendly.
Josh's dream was to become a singer | Source: Unsplash
"You want fries with that?" she asked brusquely.
Josh gave her his best smile. "Yes please," he said, "and some of that apple pie for dessert."
An angry face can hide a sad and troubled heart.
The woman's mouth twisted. "Apple pie -- isn't that just charming. Wish my life was apple pie."
When she brought out Josh's order, she slammed the food down on the table, and he could see she was just as rude to the other customers.
He played on the streets for money | Source: Unsplash
When Josh finished his meal, she brought him his bill with the promised discount. Josh fished out his wallet and was about to leave a tip, but then he saw the woman's angry face.
No, he thought to himself, I'm not leaving her a cent! She doesn't deserve it! Josh tucked his wallet back into his jeans pocket and was about to leave when a poster by the door caught his eye.
The poster showed a smiling woman with a little boy with a shock of bright red hair and a cheeky grin, and the caption underneath explained that Luke, that was the boy's name, was very ill.
The waitress was rude and unsmiling | Source: Unsplash
Luke suffered from a rare disease, and his only hope was an expensive treatment not covered by his mother's health insurance. Readers were asked to access Luke's Go Fund Me page and make a donation.
Josh was stunned to recognize his sour-faced waitress as the radiant, smiling woman in the photo with Luke. No wonder she's so unhappy, Josh thought, she must be worried sick and forced to work long hours instead of being with her sick son.
Josh took out his wallet again. He looked at the wad of money in the note compartment. He was so close to his dream! He had $1,500, enough for five hours in a reasonable recording studio...
Josh realized that her son was very ill | Source: Unsplash
He wrote out a quick note, and placed the whole wad of cash on the table, then walked out. When the harried waitress came back, she found a note wrapped around the $1,500.
"This is for Luke," the note read, "and I hope it brings back your smile." Gasping at the money in her hand, the waitress ran to the door to thank Josh, but he was already gone.
She told her boss what Josh had done. "And I was so worried about Luke, I didn't even smile," she said regretfully.
Rita couldn't believe it when she found the money on the table | Source: Unsplash
The boss shook his head. "That kid was out there all day playing his heart out and he left you all this money?" The restaurant owner showed the waitress the video he'd made of Josh singing. "And the kid's got talent too!"
That night, the waitress posted the clip of Josh singing on social media, with a caption explaining what the good-hearted young man had done for her son. Within hours, the clip went viral.
Quickly people started looking for the young man with the golden voice and the catchy songs, and one of the fans found his posts on YouTube. Suddenly, Josh had millions of people listening to his songs.
Rita posted Josh's music on social media | Source: Unsplash
Josh was stunned and couldn't believe it when a studio executive called him, asking him to come in. He had been listening to Josh's songs and wanted to produce an album!
Josh was delighted and used his advance check to book a venue for a concert. He announced his concern online and told all his fans that the entire take of the event would go towards paying for Luke's treatment.
To his surprise, over 5,000 people showed up, and the next day, he went back to the restaurant with a huge wad of cash from the concert's box office. "Hi!" he said to the waitress, "I'm Josh."
Josh got a call from a business executive | Source: Unsplash
"Josh," the waitress said, "I'm Rita, Luke's mom, and I wanted to thank you..."
"Here," Josh said, pushing the money into her hand, "This is for Luke. It's $19,000, and I hope it helps."
"What!" gasped Rita, staring at the money. "No! I can't take it..."
"Yes you can," Josh said. "You put my music out there, and now I have a contract. I want to help Luke and you're going to let me."
Six months later, Josh Hallaren was launching his first album with a special concert, and sitting on the front row were two very special guests: Luka and his mom -- and she was wearing a huge smile.
Josh's first concert was for Luke | Source: Unsplash
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