Waiter Delays His Work and Rushes to Hand-Feed Disabled Elderly Lady, Gets Repaid for His Kindness

Dayna Remus
Mar 05, 2022
05:40 A.M.
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From when we watch the news or walk down the street, it can easily look as if the world is only full of mayhem and negativity. One waiter challenged this perspective and, in return, was rewarded in the best possible way. 


Joe Thomas is one of those beautiful souls who embodies kindness and compassion, with a background to prove it.

He looked after others from a young age when his dad got prostate cancer, after his mom passed away from diabetes, and once worked as a rehab technician. 

Joe Thomas hand-feeding “Ma.” | Source:



In 2017, the then-44-year-old had been employed as a waiter at IHOP in Springfield, Illinois, for just over a decade. This restaurant is where his natural humanitarian nature would shine through. 

Thomas, always with a grin on his face, made sure to remember all the regulars' names. Wife and husband "Dale and Ma," as they were referred to, were just two of these loyal customers who came in every Saturday. 

Ma had an inherited disorder called Huntington's disease, challenging her movement abilities and making it hard to eat

Joe Thomas. | Source: Gaming



Her husband would hand-feed his wife while his food became cold. Thomas eventually decided to intervene, and it became a common habit for him to feed Ma. Speaking about the first time he did so, Thomas recollected

"I didn't really offer. I just started doing it. I told the gentleman to 'Sit down, eat your food. I got her.'"

This waiter, of course, was assisting this woman out of the kindness of his heart. He did not need praise. But, he had no idea that an anonymous individual was about to turn him into an internet sensation!

Joe Thomas. | Source: Gaming



Keshia Dotson, an outreach coordinator, was also at the restaurant when she spotted Thomas feeding Ma. She chose to take a picture of him and post it on Facebook.  

Dotson said her reason for doing so was to gain recognition for the waiter, which he received a lot of following the post, with thousands of individuals liking and sharing it.

Joe Thomas. | Source: Gaming



Within the plethora of positive comments from strangers, there were also past patrons of  Thomas, all commending him on his excellent service. The IHOP spokesperson also had some complimentary words

"From everything we've heard about Joe, it is in his nature to go above and beyond for his guests...we are incredibly proud of the heartwarming moments like this that take place in our restaurants every day."

Beyond all the positive chatter, his good deed was also rewarded with an offer to pursue a career in nursing -- a position that would certainly fit his kind-hearted and helpful demeanor. 


Joe Thomas pouring coffee for a customer. | Source: Gaming


Whatever compliments or positions Thomas may have acquired, it is pretty clear that the actual prize for him is keeping those around him happy and looked after. As Thomas said:


"I love the people. I just love my life, and I love the way I am."

It is rare to see people so fully involved and truly happy with their lives -- perhaps the secret to a fulfilling existence is then, rather than focus on ourselves all the time, to look to see how we can assist others. 



Another service worker Wyatt Jones also tapped into this now open secret. The Mcdonald's cashier bought food for some struggling customers and was repaid tenfold. 

Brittany Reed and her three moody kids went into McDonald's after she had picked them up from football practice, hoping the fast food would cheer them up. 

Unfortunately, she had mistakenly left her purse at home and tried to cancel the order, but  Jones insisted that he pay for the meal to the stressed mother's surprise. 

Returning later, the mom tried to pay him back and later set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for a new vehicle that he was saving up to buy.

While we may not always receive physical payback for our good deeds, it creates a sense of inner serenity that money cannot buy. 


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