A single mother of four from Maine says her faith in humanity has been renewed after a stranger gave her a $500 tip, saving Christmas for her children.
When Trisha Murphy, of Sullivan, isn't working at a nursing home in Seaport Village, she picks up extra shifts at a Denny's restaurant, all while taking classes to become a certified nurse assistant.
In a Facebook post Sunday, Murphy wrote that she began her Saturday morning shift at Denny's particularly stressed because her car was towed and she did not know how she could afford to pay the $735 she needed to get it out and buy Christmas presents for her school-aged kids.
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"I went into work, racking my brain as to how I was going to pull this off," she wrote. "I can pick up a couple extra shifts and do some odd jobs. That would mean I'd have to pay extra for a sitter though."
Murphy wrote that she "painted on a smile" and waited on a table of three men.
"The older of the three kept asking me about Christmas. I just told him I'm in it for my kids, but besides that, I don't really get into it all that much," she wrote. "He joked that he'd come be Santa."
When it came time to pay the bill, Murphy said the man insisted she cash him out instead of the restaurant's hostess.
"When he put his card in, he had a huge, ear to ear, smile. The receipt printed and I almost collapsed!" Murphy said of the $500 gratuity on the receipt. "I looked up at this grungy-looking man, my face as white as snow, and tears in my eyes. He just smiled again and said 'Merry Christmas, dear.'"
Murphy says she doesn't know the man's name, but hopes "he realizes that he literally saved Christmas for my children and I."
"Good people do still exist. Yesterday was the day I met Santa," Murphy added.