Mom Who Affords Only One Dish to Share with Her 3 Kids Cries in Cafe until Stranger Steps In — Story of the Day

Sonali Bharadwaj
Jun 25, 2022
04:40 P.M.

A woman who can afford to buy only one meal for her three children bursts into tears when one of them says she's still hungry after eating. Not knowing what to do, the woman can't stop crying until a stranger steps in to help her.


Anna Morrison was a single mother raising her three children, Joseph, Catherine, and Tom, on her own after her husband died two years ago. Unfortunately, Anna didn't make a huge living as a tailor, so she and her kids had to make do with the little money they had.

That year, before Tom's 10th birthday, Anna managed to save some money. She knew it wasn't a lot, but she could at least treat her children to one proper meal on the special day.

So on Tom's birthday, Anna took her children to a local cafe. But the prices at the eatery made her brow furrow, and after she read through the entire menu, she realized she could only afford one dish.

The waitress had already brought them water and was waiting for their order at this point, and Anna was too shy to leave the cafe and go somewhere cheaper, so she decided to buy something within her budget.

Finally, she settled on a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, thinking it would suffice them. However, when the dinner arrived, Tom began to complain. "Mom!" he cried. "It's my birthday today! One dish isn't enough for the four of us! And I want a drink with my food!"

Anna treated her children to spaghetti and meatballs on Tom's birthday. | Source: Pexels

Anna treated her children to spaghetti and meatballs on Tom's birthday. | Source: Pexels


"Yes, mommy!" Catherine and Joseph cried in unison. "We want drinks too!"

Anna's eyes welled up with tears as she served a small portion on each of her children's plates. "I'm sorry, honey," she apologized sweetly. "For the time being, let's have this. I promise to do better on your next birthday. Actually…" She ended up splitting the spaghetti among her children and said, "You three can have my share as well. I'm not hungry."

"But that's not fair, mom!" Tom sulked. "This is the worst birthday!" he grumbled as he helped himself to the first bite. Catherine and Joseph started eating too, and Anna's eyes welled up as she watched them.

As she finished her food, Catherine hugged her tummy and said, "Mommy, I'm still hungry. Can we get something else, please?"

"Yes, mom!" Tom added. "How about a cake? We can't celebrate a birthday without a cake! Please, please, mom! I'll wash my hands and be right back! Then we can order it!" With that, Tom dashed to the washroom, and Catherine and Joseph followed him.

Anna cried when her kids wanted to eat more and she couldn't afford to get them anything more. | Source: Pexels

Anna cried when her kids wanted to eat more and she couldn't afford to get them anything more. | Source: Pexels


As the children left, Anna was reduced to tears. "How do I even tell them I don't have any money on me? Oh, I'm an awful mother," she slurred between tears.

Suddenly, she felt a warm hand on her shoulders. She looked up to see an older woman standing before her. Her name was Sandra, and she was dining with her adult sons at the same cafe. She'd overheard Anna talking to the kids since she was sitting near Anna's table and knew Anna didn't have enough money to feed her children.

"It's all right," she said, giving Anna a warm hug. "I raised my sons on my own, and I know it's not easy. You are doing an excellent job in trying to provide the best for your children. Don't hold it against yourself..." Sandra consoled her and slipped a $100 bill under her plate.

"Order some extra food and a cake for your children. And please, don't be hungry. Enjoy your time with your children while they are with you. Time flies. You never know when they'll grow up and move out! I'm Sandra, by the way."

Sandra came to Anna's rescue. | Source: Pexels

Sandra came to Anna's rescue. | Source: Pexels


Anna was beyond grateful to Sandra. "Oh, I - I don't know what to say, Sandra. It doesn't feel good to accept money like this, but thank you. I desperately need it. I'll tell my kids about how you helped us … I'm Anna. Thank you again for helping us."

Sandra shook her head. "It's okay. And yes, I'd advise you not to tell them anything, Anna. It makes no difference who paid for the food. What is important is that it is your son's birthday. Enjoy your day; that's all I have to say! Look, your children are coming...."

Anna smiled. "You helped me when you didn't even know me, Sandra. Let me do this, please!"

As the kids returned from the washroom, Anna ordered a cake and some lemon tarts. Sandra's eyes welled up as she watched the children eat happily.

When Anna cleared the bill and the children dashed out of the restaurant, Anna asked for Sandra's address, so she could meet her someday and repay her kindness.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am to you, Sandra," Anna told her before leaving. "Thank you, thank you so much!"

That weekend, Anna asked her neighbor to look after her children and decided to visit Sandra. She baked some cookies as a small token of appreciation for Sandra's help.

Anna baked cookies for Sandra. | Source: Pexels

Anna baked cookies for Sandra. | Source: Pexels

When Anna arrived at Sandra's house, she thought it was lovely, but it needed some care and attention. The plants in the garden were withered, and Sandra's house needed some cleaning.

"I'm sorry for the mess," Sandra apologized as she poured tea for Anna. "It's just been difficult with the kids moving out and managing things on my own. Besides, my knee has been bothering me lately, making it difficult to get things done."

Anna observed Sandra was having difficulty getting around her house, so out of concern, she offered to help with the house cleaning and garden upkeep. The older woman declined, but Anna insisted.

"Oh, now I feel like I whined about my house to you, and I forced you to help me!" Sandra laughed. "You're spoiling me, Anna! Trust me, it's fine!"


Anna smiled. "You helped me when you didn't even know me, Sandra. Let me do this, please!"

Anna proposed to help Sandra with her house and garden. | Source: Pexels

Anna proposed to help Sandra with her house and garden. | Source: Pexels

With that, Anna cleaned Sandra's house and spent time in her garden, mowing the grass and removing withered plants. The next weekend, she returned to Sandra's home and planted fresh flowers in her garden.

With time, Sandra and Anna became close, and the single mother-of-three often dropped by the older woman's house to help her.

Sandra would often feel guilty. Anna helped her so much when she knew she had responsibilities as a single mother too. But every time she told Anna she was spoiling her by looking after her house, Anna would smile and say, "I don't have the money to repay you, Sandra, but I can bring a big smile to your face, and that's repayment for the big smiles you brought to my children's faces. Seeing your house clean makes you happy, and I feel relieved to see it."


What can we learn from this story?

  • Doing good feels amazing; let's try to do it often. Anna was moved by Sandra's help and decided to repay her by helping her around the house. Seeing Sandra's joy as she assisted her motivated Anna to continue helping her and doing good.
  • Help others whenever and in whatever way you can. Sandra's donation of $100 was a godsend. Anna knew she couldn't pay Sandra back monetarily, so she found other ways. She cleaned Sandra's house, tended to her garden, and became a good friend to her.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an older woman who was kicked out by her son to live in a roofless house until her younger son took charge of the situation.

This account is inspired by our reader's story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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