Aaron's Last Wish$500 Tips for Waiters and Waitresses

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The First $500 Tip!

Yesterday our family went to Puccini’s in Lexington to give a $500 tip and make Aaron’s wish come true. After the video she walked back to the kitchen and seemed to be telling everyone. When she came back out we spoke off camera for a few minutes and she was kind enough to take a couple pictures with mom.

We have already received over $500 more, so we will be doing this again soon. Hopefully we can continue changing the lives of random waiters and waitresses for years.

170 Responses to The First $500 Tip!

  1. Brandon

    I didn’t know Aaron, but I saw a post about this on Facebook from a friend. I have been in the service industry for almost ten years, and I can tell you how under appreciated many of those in this field are. We have kids, school, medical bills, and all the other things that take money that we sometimes just can’t seem to make enough of. This kind of thing can really change people’s lives for the better. I don’t currently have the extra cash to donate, but when I do, I plan to. Keep it up! I’m sure your brother would be proud!

  2. Marissa @ Frequency.com


    Just wanted to let you know your video was featured in Frequency.com’s Top 25 today! The Top 25 feed is featured to all of our 2 million+ monthly users!

    We are available on the web at http://www.Frequency.com/
    And on the iPad (its free to download!) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/frequency/id465034728

    @ Frequency.com

    Hope it helps 🙂

  3. Vetti

    This made me smile so much, what a fantastic idea, a living ongoing tribute.
    Aaron, you sounded like a fantastic guy.

  4. Balu

    Your story has been posted on reddit. Prepare to be overrun by a horde of great people that’ll love your cause.

  5. Steven W Martin

    What an incredible story! I’m moved by your commitment to your brother’s wishes. I too lost my brother about 8 years ago and feel for you in your time of loss. What a great way to pay tribute to his life. Keep it up!

    Steve & Lisa Martin

  6. Dale

    A link is now up on Fark.com. Great story.

  7. Harmony

    I am awe struck, what an amazing idea and an incredible thing for a family to come together to do. Your brother’s legacy will live on the breath of kindhearted words and the brilliance of hope…just so amazed! Best wishes to you and yours.

  8. Vernon J

    I’m glad to read such an amazing thing he wanted to be done. I’m glad you are sharing your brother’s legacy.

  9. patrick hudson

    i will be donating to this site often, what a great idea.

  10. Zach

    Awesome. love it

  11. Kevino del Torro

    Awesome, that is all!

  12. Jennifer

    Goosebumps! What a touching story.

  13. Jason


  14. Justin

    You are a good man Aaron, your family is lucky to have had you in their life.

  15. martin

    You might want to check with an accountant to see if you owe tax on any donations you get

  16. Elsie

    In a world of depressing news, it was awesome to see such an inspiring and uplifting story. Aaron’s memory will live through you and others. God bless.

  17. Ben

    It’s all over Canada now as well…….really nice story, like the waitress said Pay it Forward. The world needs more of you and your family. RIP Aaron

  18. Eli

    Very sad and touching story.
    Posted on Dirty.ru.

  19. Emily

    As Ben said, this is all over Canadian webpages and news sites now. Like http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/12/family-fulfills-mans-last-wish-to-tip-waitress-500

  20. JadeTora

    As a Buddhist this is an extremely touching story to me. Being as I’m down on my luck right now I know how hard being an outgoing and friendly person can be, some days I don’t even want to wake up, especially since my marriage of three years recently ended with my Ex cheating on me and then informing me that he “no longer loved me”, telling me to get out, and forcing me on my 69 year old Mother who really can’t afford to support me because I had no where else to go and nothing to my name..

    That said however I want to thank you guys genuinely for posting this, it’s times like these when I feel this way that I need to read stories such as these to know that although extremely rare, there is still at least some good left in the world.. It makes it worth continuing to trudge along.

    Thanks guys and that’s one hell of a way to go, very noble.

    • Jerry

      Hello Jade, Im sorry to hear about your divorced. I know you are going through a lot with that and moving back in with your Mother. I just wanted to say in this Post, that I will pray for you and that things will turn around for you. Hang in there. The sun will shine again for you. You will be happy again. Seek Christ. He has the words of everlasting life. Mohammed, Budda and Krishna do not. Seek Jesus, humbly and honestly and he will give you Peace.
      Peace be with you. Jerry (Michigan)

      • Janice

        What a wonderful reply Jerry! I felt the same thing as I read Jade’s post.
        Jade- I will also pray for you. And please do seek Jesus. The peace is beyond words!

      • brian

        Why would you try and force your religion on someone who is quite happy with what they have is beyond me.

      • jeromepaul


        Find your peace wherever you can. Jesus / Christianity is NOT the only path.

        Be strong.

      • AreYouSerious

        Seriously Jerry?

        This story here is about spreading goodwill and you made a post only to tell an individual what they should or should not believe in.

        Would you not be offended if someone told you that seeking Jesus doesn’t provide an everlasting life?

        Being from Michigan, you should already be aware that America has the freedom of religion, so why do you feel as if you have to cast judgement on another’s belief? I thought that was a sin in itself, is it not? I’m a Christian myself, but I still don’t think it’s right to tell others what they should or should not believe in.

        Instead of telling other’s what to seek, I think it’d be best if you just seeked a psychiatrist.

        As for the story, props for this guy having a great idea to put in his will. It’d be great if more people considered the welfare of others before themselves.

    • Peaceful One

      I’m as touched as you on something like this. It is always nice to read inspirational things like this rather than the news we are bombarded with and the hatred of narrow minded people. I hope your situation improves soon and I hope that this movement spreads to all corners of this world. We as humans are meant to look out for our fellow man. Unfortunately, it looks like someone replied to you in a way that is taking away from the spirit of this movement, but you like others know that it is their shortcoming, not yours. Some people just can’t help themselves when it comes to being narrow minded. Go in peace and let this story inspire you to do more, not focus on where you are at currently.

  21. Tia

    I love this!! Made me cry. What you are doing is awesome!

  22. F Edwards

    My wife and I came in a decent amount of cash recently and did something similar. Wen to a Local restaurant and ate fairly well. When the check came Meal was 95 bucks. We dropped a hundy as a tip. First time i ever tipped more than the check but the waitress was exceptional and she deserved every penny.

  23. Michael

    Welp, you just hit Gawker and Videogum, so I’m guessing you’re about to see a bit of an uptick, to say the least.

  24. julian

    nice man

  25. Annie

    This is so touching. Tears are coming to my eyes. What an amazing guy he must have been. And what an amazing wish for someone to have. Creative & extremely thoughtful.
    This video is going viral!

  26. Dan

    Hey, your story made it to Yahoo! Very touching:


    I have also posted it on our website at treasuretrooper.com which has thousands of members. Good luck and keep the updates coming!

  27. Kyle

    This is about to BLOW UP. Good job Aaron and family!

  28. Ginger

    I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that you can continue giving for many more years to come. My husband and I paid for 2 elderly couples dinner one night but told the waitress not to tell them until we left. It made us feel so good to do something nice for no reason. I can just imagine how you guys must feel. I hope this makes you feel very close to Aaron in your hearts.

  29. Scott

    This is great. I was a waiter and bartender in college and after and I remember how stoked I was when a long-time customer of mine gave me a $40 tip on a $20 tab right before I left for law school.

    Aaron sounds like a good guy. My condolences to your family on your loss.

  30. Betty

    The world needs more people like Aaron , God Bless you and your family and may aarons wish go on forever

  31. dori

    My condolences for Aarons family and friends. A truely touching story that you all shared. I lost my son two years ago this month so I am well aware how hard it is to keep the strength up to do this. Amazing people on earth and in heaven and a big thanks to all.

  32. Tammy

    WOW what a great thing to do. RIP Aaron. Prayers to the family and friends. Just amazing…gives me goose-bumps

  33. Nick1220

    This is awesome. I am a restaurant manager and have been for over a decade. You would be surprise at the amount of people who have no idea that servers only make $2.13 an hour, The income comes from you the guest. I hate to see sometimes a server that works 10 hours and goes home with $30. They have family’s at home and $30 bucks a day did not even cover the babysitter or gas they needed to work. Aaron sounds like a very caring and the most unselfish person i think ive might have ever heard of! I hope you and your family stay blessed!

  34. Tabitha

    Sending this story to TheChive.com! Their followers have helped buy a man with no limbs a house and send a man into space. The possibilities are endless when you have KCCO behind you!

  35. Megan

    Just too freaking awesome. It honestly shows how simple it can be to be remembered, to impact someone’s life, and to leave a message. I want to thank all of Aaron’s family for respecting his wish. I am going to make sure that people who I know see this and donate to this. This is just too cool. R.I.P. Aaron. Blessings to all of you!

  36. Buck

    A wonderful thing to do. Aaron blessed you by asking that you do this for him. Thanks to all of you for following through.

  37. Sandy

    What an inspiring way to honor your brother. The video made me cry. I’m disabled from lupus and have always said that if I came into money, I’d start a foundation that helps disabled people with the “little things”, like going grocery shopping or picking up meds from a pharmacy. Maybe someday, I’ll be lucky enough to actually do it.

    I’d love to donate, but right now we’re filing for bankruptcy, have our house in foreclosure and living in a cramped 2 bedroom apt. Right now my day consists of dealing with chronic severe pain and trying to keep a positive attitude for my 13 year old son.
    God bless you all for what you’re doing. I’m sure Aaron is looking down from heaven with a big smile on his face!

  38. Lila

    I will be sure to make someone’s day as well

  39. Tristy Paulose

    This was featured on the homepage of yahoo. Be proud, because this is going to be big!

  40. Scott from NJ

    July 7th was the 11 year anniversary of my fathers death and I am truly touched by this story. Aaron really had things in order in his life. Although I am not the wealthiest person in the world, I feel that giving to others is the very best thing you can do. Not only for yourself, but for others as well. It doesn’t have to be much. I’ve just bought coffee for someone in line behind me. It really brings a smile to their face and starts my day off right. So sorry for your loss. Aaron must have been an awesome person to be around. Please keep his legacy alive by keeping this website running. As long as there are good people out there to see this story, this idea will last a long, long time. God bless you all and Rest in Peace Aaron….

  41. Adam

    Totally awesome, you all are fantastic, Arron is very lucky to have had you. I bet if there is Fuc***g pizza in Heaven Arron has found it. May The Good Lord shine upon you.

  42. Trish

    God bless you all! This is amazing! Fulfilling his last wish has touched more hearts than you’ll ever know.

  43. Mary Jo Perreault

    What an unselfish act of love. This is what love is supposed to be.

  44. Dennis Smith

    I read this story on Yahoo News. Fantastic idea. I very, very seldom donate to anything but, after reading your story, I will be sending a donation within two weeks. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to send but I will make another post when I donate. Best wishes to you and your entire family…….. Dennis

  45. Star

    Does it seem to you that it’s the people with few dollars that leave the bigger tips?

    So sad for your loss and our loss. People like your brother should liver a lot longer in this world.

  46. yolsgaard

    You might want to create a non-profit so that you won’t be taxed on the funds you receive. This story made me cry. Thank you for doing a beautiful thing. We can all contribute a dollar or two or more and you can bring joy to those who need it most. Yes, servers are paid a pittance and struggle. God bless you. We will all remember Aaron with you.

  47. Brett

    What an honor to your brother…keep honoring him and God with your generosity

  48. Mick

    R.I.P. Aaron

  49. Tammala

    What a beautiful way to honor your brother Aaron. He sound’s like he was pretty amazing, but it sounds like he has a pretty amazing family to. God bless you all for following his last request and for carrying on as long as you get donations. We need more family’s like yours in this world.

  50. Twanda

    Aaron, would be very proud to know that his family is carrying on his wishes. You are doing an amazing thing, and the reward of knowing you helped someone, is far more rewarding than receiving anything yourself. God bless you, Aaron’s family, and be with you in your loss!

  51. Jamie

    I love this!! I think it’s great! I’ll be back to the site on payday for sure. Hopefully you can keep doing this!!!

  52. Dee Mac

    Totally awesome ..thinking of others in his time of need….it can make a difference in a persons prespective when an act of kindness happens to them.

  53. Susan Jackson

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a great way to keep his memory alive. I am sure he is enjoying this! Great idea and keep it going! I look forward to hearing how this story continues.

  54. KARINA

    This story is very touching, it really made me feel like crying, but a good cry though 🙂 It was amazing the surprise and happines that this kind of act caused on the waitress! Your brother must be smiling from heaven 🙂 This is really a very lovely act! I can’t but congratulate the family and give you all my best regards may Aaron rest in peace and may his family be always blessed! 🙂

  55. Florian

    Its a great story and it crossed the “pond” keep up the good work. Aaron collins is getting famous in the Netherlands. I will follow this example to impact a waiterslife here in the Netherlands. Its a good way to twist a sad moment in a positive way. I will definitly share this story with others. Best regards from the Netherlands

  56. megan

    This is such a moving story. It’s fantastic that Aaron’s family could make his wish come true. Amazing!

  57. Chris

    This story really touched me. As someone who likes to tip well for hard workers all I can say is bravo for your random acts of kindness and the world sure can use more people with a kind heart like Aaron who thinko of others.
    My thoughts are with your family and wish you the best of luck with this endevor.
    Keep up the random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

  58. Dave

    Great Story. Just read it on Yahoo! I hope to donate soon.

  59. Hannele

    I saw this on MSN.com. I loved it. What a great idea. A few years ago, I was working at Food Ave in Target, we are not aloud to take tips. It was mother’s day, and I was not to happy that I had to go into work at 7am. at 11am this grumpy older man came up and ordered just a hot dog… he was grumpy, but I kept my smile. The charge came to 2.15, he handed me a twenty and told me to keep the change and walked away. Because we cannot accept tips I followed him into the dinning area, thanked him and told him I cannot accept tips… he just looked at me and said take the change and put it in you pocket. Because he looked like Clint Eastwood when he said it I did. He really made my day. I payed it forward. had a hair appointment right after work, and gave her my tip for a tip. I would like to donate, but instead when my friend and I go to lunch next Wednesday, I gonna leave a big tip in honor of your brother. Thanks for the story.

  60. Robert

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I will definitely donate to this great cause. I’ll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  61. Sabrina

    I saw this on Yahoo news and was so touched by it I shared it on facebook, wrote it in my journal (so I could remember it) and It has also given me some good Ideas on what I can do myself as well. Thank you so much for sharing my God be with you all through your journey.

  62. vincent

    this is the most wonderful thing i’ve encountered in a very long time. the impact this will have on so many people is an incredible legacy. i admire your brother’s kindness. wish i could have met him. wow!

  63. Kaitlin

    I worked at a coffee shop for a bit, and received a $100 tip for a coffee once when the customer heard my boss congratulate me on my recent marriage. Really made my day 🙂 Thanks for giving us all some good news to read for a change!

  64. erica

    I saw the video on yahoo and cried!! Your brother was a very special person to want to help people this way!

  65. shay

    just wanted to send out a special thank you to your brother and all of you for doing this and for thinking of something like this during such a hard time. i am not sure how many people noticed what day he died but i did and love that you did it so soon after he passed. i think it means more because of that. hope this goes on for a long time, thanks again.

  66. Stephanie

    i cried like a little baby. Aaron’s tip has done more than change the life a waiter/waitress.. It has effected every person that hears this story.

  67. Gina

    WOW! What a great heart your brother must have had. Ive been a server for several years and I only hope everyone realizes what a blessing this young man has brought to the lives of the servers receiving his last wish! Truly Amazing!

  68. Jess

    What a lovely way to honor a loved one. Thanks so much for sharing this with others, so the kindness can be passed on.

  69. Heather

    I have been a waitress for 10 years. Let me just say this video and this very nice gesture is wonderful to see. Most people do not appreciate the hard work that it takes to be a server. It’s more than just refilling drinks and bringing you your food. God Bless Aaron for being so kind to a profession that most people look down upon. My condolences to your family on your loss.

  70. Kevin Cordi

    Your brother knows the value of giving back. I hope we all learn from his example. Thanks for bringing real joy to others. It reminds me that I need to as well. Share the story often. We need to hear it.

  71. Lori

    I didn’t leave a tip but I recently paid for a woman’s groceries who was a total stranger and she didn’t know how she was going to feed her family after running her card through the register only to find she had 39 cent on her card. I didn’t give it a thougth to ask what the bill was. It came to $118 and change. She was speechless. I gave her a hug and went away happy that God could move through me to bless someone else

  72. Matt

    Amen to what Betty said. Fantastic people all around.

  73. Emerson

    Awesome story! I’m so astounded by Aaron Collins and the legacy he has now left. I’m also so happy for the entire Collins family that, in a way, they too are really nice,warm and humble people, continuing the good that Aaron has started.

    I’m sure that the Collins family is also super awesome for having brought up Aaron the way he was. Thank you to Aaron, his mom and dad, and his entire family! You’re truly bringing light to a dark and dreary world!

  74. Chris Nolf

    Wow, Aaron sounded like he knew what makes the world go round… kindness. This world was a better place with him in it. God speed and thank you for sharing his story.


  75. Jon Karlen

    Really love that you were able to take a tragedy and turn it into something positive! Amazing!

  76. Stephanie

    Saw this on Yahoo’s featured stories…LOVE IT! What an amazing story! So uplifting and I can’t wait to do this. My husband and I will make sure to include Aaron’s website on the bills 🙂

  77. Rob White

    That was very nice of Aaron. Glad he was able to get his last wish and make the waitress’s day like that!

  78. Tami

    I lost my 37 year old husband 2 1/2 years ago and reading this article made me miss him even more than I already did. I didn’t think that was possible. My husband was a very generous man who totally lived in the “Pay it Forward” way of life. He didn’t know he was dying, but had he, I am sure this would have been a last request. Even the way your brother spoke of it – (…not $25 dollars, but a $500 f*@king pizza tip) – sounded just like my Jack. I am positive Aaron is smiling down on all of you.

  79. Kim

    Such an awesome idea! Your brother’s kindness towards others is inspiring. Hope it goes viral and $ continues pouring in!

  80. Norm

    this is awesome. Made my day.

  81. Kristin

    This is great. Made my day. I’ve added your link to my website, and will encourage everyone I know to donate. This is such an incredible way to keep Aaron’s memory alive.

    I lost a brother last October…my heart goes out to your family. You’ll be in my thoughts!

  82. phyllis besold

    To Aaron,s family,
    I had a horrible day today found out more horrible health concerns.
    For myself felt like doggie doo doo
    i turned on my computer and read your families story .
    i felted ashamed of myself for feeling so low.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    A parent should never have to bury their child.
    On 2/22/97 i lost a daughter Rebbeca Lynn.
    Every year on that date my husband and i try to find
    a way to remember or celebrate her short life, i will be useing you idea,
    if you do not mind,i will leave a check with your website on it.
    thank you for once again sharing your story .
    love to you and all your family,

  83. Kyle

    Congrats though. Touching story.

  84. Mark Ridley

    I once got a $50 tip (in a job that you usually wouldn’t receive a tip) and will never forget it. I still remember the man’s name. I can imagine how a $500 tip would stay with you! Especially when you’re serving pizza!

  85. lino

    amazing story ….from doha qatar

  86. Joe B

    This is going to be very popular. There should be a name for this..Like “Aaron’s Tip” . Thank you and let’s help keep Aaron’s spirit alive by tipping better to these people.

  87. Niraj Kumar

    Touching story! World is a better place thanks to some of you guys! 🙂

  88. zach

    GREAT story. I NEVER wrote on a site like this before, but Aaron seemed like a WONDERFUL person that touched people when a live and also when he passed.

    THANKS so much for sharing this story, made me step back and see what great people are out there. Wish I could have called him a friend.

    God Bless
    Zach from CT….USA

  89. Don D

    What a fabulous idea made more fabulous by sharing it with the world so that others may follow suit. We live in an America that, in my mind, is not living up to the potential of the generations who made it what it once was. The government isn’t going to fix it for us, obviously. So, we must fix it ourselves and this is the perfect example of a small idea that can make a major impact. God bless Aaron, his family and everyone who will make an effort to make a difference after reading this.

  90. Derek Cheek

    I watched this video yesterday after stumbling upon it on the web. Reminded me of my maternal grandfather who always gave his grandchildren money for making his bed. Always brought a smile to his face, and ours, although he purposely messed the bed up before we visited. He was a giver. Your video reminded me of his kind spirit and what we can all do if we just take the time to think of others.

    So, yesterday, after watching the video, I went to get my hair cut. Found out that my stylist’s car broke down and she wasn’t in. The same stylist whose husband was in a terrible accident, is confined to a wheelchair, and can hardly think for himself. I returned today to find out that she had hitched a ride to work from a friend but that her daughter’s car also broke down. Instead of giving my usual single-digit tip, I gave her $100. Brought a smile to both of our faces!

    Your family’s story has inspired me and I hope it will do the same to others. Thanks for sharing!

  91. Mark

    I just donated. This is great, to do something good out of such a tragedy! I often give bigger tips because I beleive that it is my part for saying thank you for doing what I wouldn’t do! I am happy to see that the young girl in question immediately did NOT think of herself and shared it with the restaurant staff. We all need to show kindness to one another. May Aaron be smiling in Heaven knowing that what he couldn’t accomplish here on earth is being done through the Almighty in his name!

  92. Stephen Schlein

    Wonderful story. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Truly amazing that in a sitution of loss and sadness, we can turn it around and bring happiness. Aaron was a very thoughtful guy. And he’s making a difference. Thank you Aaron….

  93. vamtheanomaly

    Saw this on yahoo news. Condolences to your family. I do things similar to this all the time. Pick up hitch hickers without fearing what will happen. Sometimes I drop money behind people in grocery stores and ask them “excuse me, did you drop that 20 dollar bill?!”. Most pick it up and say, “I guess I did!”. Its a test of humanity.

  94. scott

    thats a nice story. Made me cry

  95. Daniel


  96. Waffle House Customer

    I just want to say your son and family is making a change in peoples lives and it is awesome that you guys would do that.Also there is a waitress that works at Waffle House on Richmond Rd Lexington KY her name is Joann and she is an awesome waitress,she gives you the best service you could ask for.She works really hard and isnt appreciated by alot of people,If I could I would do the same for her if possible you could go there and eat and see for yourself that she is an awesome waitress that is underpaid and maybe make a change in her life like you have done others.I go there to eat alot and she is my waitress alot and I get the best service I have ever had everytime she waits on me.She deserves for something like this to happen to her.She works 9pm to 7am wednesday,friday,and saturday night that I know of.by the way I now know there are really great people in this world that are Godsent Angels and its you guys.I have always wanted to do the same thing for waitresses that are great at their Job and underpaid but never been able to.Thanks for what you guys are doing for people. Its Awesome!!!!!!!!

  97. Christi

    Your brother sounds like he was an amazing person. His spirit will live on through this project. I am truly touched by this story. My mom raised 5 children by herself working as waitress and it would have been an unbelievable blessing if someone had done this for her. What a wonderful way to honor your brother.

  98. Sander

    What a story…

    Is has reached Europe as well.

    How a drop can change into an ocean.
    You and your family can be proud.

  99. Bee Maeda

    What an amazing story. I am sorry for your loss but I am so proud of what you guys are doing fulfilling your brothers last wish. It is an amazing way to just do Random Act of Kindness. Goodluck and hopefully can continue his legacy. I did my part and I hope you guys get a lot more donations!

  100. Marco

    Great Aaron, your’re great. On behalf of all the waiters and salespeople who work every day for too little pay … your gift is wonderful ….

    Marco from Italy

    Grande Aaron a nome di tutti i camerieri e venditori che ogni giorno lavorano per uno stipendio troppo basso …il tuo dono è magnifico….

  101. Ed M.

    Moving story.

    Great gesture.

    Don’t forget to give one to a floral delivery person too.

    Everyone tips the pizza guy but forgets the flowers.

  102. JoAnn Parker

    I am so very proud of all of you. Your love for your brother will go on and on because of his wish, and you honoring it. This is a beautiful way to show the world the love and kindness Aaron had in his heart. As for all of you,, Aaron’s family, oh how so very proud he would be of all of you. I myself hope with all my heart this does go on for a very long while, even spread to others ways people can help each other. You know now what Aaron always knew, how your heart can swell so much with the look of those people who very seldom have a kind act done to them Karma is the word that comes to mind at this moment. I truly hope for you all, a kind and gentle life to come. Your brother may be gone, buy his name will go on, and on with each new kind act done in his honor………

  103. Deb

    My mom had a 9th grade education, was a single mom, but supported herself and me by the tips she made as a waitress. I lived a pretty good life thanks to the generousity of her customers. She passed away in 2001 at the age of 70, but she never stopped remembering her best customers. One of her long-time bosses even drove 200 miles to see her the week before she passed away. She would have LOVED this story. Thank you for sharing it and may God Bless your family. Aaron lives on through his family and the generous people who are helping you carry out his wishes!

  104. robin

    I saw this post on CNN and followed the link. This video is amazing!! My mother died 7 weeks before my son was born over 14 years ago, and I swear he is just like her. Almost making sure he tips people more than needed because they in fact work as hard as everyone else. It is a blessing and without your family no one would know why things are done this way. I love stories like this and yes I am crying. Makes you feel good that deep down inside people still REALLY care about others, yes they are out there. <3

  105. Sandy

    Came across this story on CNN.com. What a blessing to see something so beautiful be borne of something so sad as the loss of a loved one. Aaron will live on in his legacy of hope for the inherent goodness of mankind, and I applaud the Collins family for all your love, strength, and commitment. As Niraj Kumar said in a post above, the world is now a better place. Blessings!

  106. RA

    May your brother rest in peace and his wish bring peace and good will to those hard working waiters and waitresses! First time ever to donate online, but I had to be part of this, just felt right.

  107. Kristin from Georgia

    The tears are flowing. Thank you Aaron and family for blessing everyone with this lovely story. I needed some good in my life today and Aaron brought it to me.

  108. Jules

    That video made me cry. How kind of Aaron to think of others at the time. I would donate, but I think it would be nice of me to give someone in my neighborhood a big tip. There are people struggling all over the country and I like the idea of Aaron’s wish to be carried out far and wide, not just in one city. Mine might not be $500, but I can manage $100 every few months or so. Thank you for the wonderful idea Aaron. You will be missed, but will live on in many hearts, many of them people you don’t know, but you will have touched.

  109. holly b

    I just came across this video on godvine.com! Amazingly fantastic! This could be huge! Can’t wait to see how this takes off!!!

  110. Bowie

    Very touching story! Had to donate myself.

  111. Chris from Maryland


  112. Geoffe

    If the people of the world performed more random acts of kindness like Aaron’s tip, imagine how many more smiles there would be.
    My wife was a waitress for many years and I know she still remembers several fond gestures from customers whether it be a large tip or a trip to a spa.

    I hope this kind of kindness becomes viral!

  113. Joy

    This story is very touching. I have been a server in college and do know that an awesome tip can mean a lot. I also found it touching that you gave her the $500 on my daughters birthday. For someone reason that really touched me. My husband recently got a promotion and we have some extra $$ now. I will use some of the extra $$ to do something in Aaron’s memory. May you feel God’s arms wrapped tightly around you. God bless.

  114. LDM

    I saw the story on facebook — I’m so very, very sorry for your loss. What a blessing to know you that you raised such a terrific son — and what a terrific legacy.

  115. Nanette Cook

    What a lovely tribute to your brother. A wonderful legacy which I am sure will bring you comfort and smiles and you put his plan in action. Your brother was a wise soul. RIP Robbie Palmerino, another generous soul, my mother.

  116. Keri

    This is simply the best legacy to leave behind! Just think how many people you have inspired and made smile…This is going to have a rippling effect and people will know what Aaron Collins represented in life and how his family honors him in death. RIP and God Bless!

  117. Ana


    I think it’s a very king attitude, but come on, U$500 doesn’t change one’s life!

    • sethc

      For some people, $5 might be enough to change their life. One young man who received the $500 tip was about to be evicted because he couldn’t afford his rent. I’m sure having a roof over his head wasn’t life changing at all. Have nice day, Ana!

  118. Vic G.

    I nice tribute but by putting the donation online every server that receives it will have the IRS breathing down their necks. Unfortunately we have to estimate our tips according to their scales which is bad enough. But now that poor woman will have to declare every penny of it. Too bad a gift isn’t truly a gift in the US anymore. But I imagine even with having to do that they will be totally stoked about getting it. I have done small things in my husband’s honor since he passed 2 years ago too. I think sometimes we get more out of it than the person getting it and I know my kids get a big kick out of it too. RIP. Aaron.

    • Vic G.

      Should have read it before posting lol. Should have said A nice tribute.

    • free2allnews

      Are you complaining because she has to pay taxes?

      1st, you’re supposed to pay taxes on your tips and if you’re under reporting, you’re part of the problem. I’m not talking about the Government not getting their share. I’m talking about people that tip little to nothing because they figure hey… these tips are virtually tax free to these people, so I’ll tip less.

      2nd, this site is a tribute to Aaron, not a place to make waves about taxes and income…

  119. Stephanie

    I seen this as trending on Youtube and instantly broke into tears. I’m sorry for the loss of your brother. As someone who has survived cancer, been declared legally dead twice. I have always wondered what my purpose in life as been. I think I might of found it. Random acts of kindness is something everyone can do if they just take a selfless approach to life. Thank you for sharing your brother’s last wish of generosity with the world.
    God Bless

  120. Cynthia Thompson

    What a great way to honor your brother and his wishes. I am going out to dinner with my husband tomororw night and we will be leaving a very generous tip to our waiter/waiteress in memory of your brother! Playing it Forward!

  121. george.z

    6 ft tall 265 lbs crying like a baby…and you know why ,cause Aaron is you and me he is the good in all of us,what he did was to inspire us all to do the same and start giving…….IF YOU BRING HAPPINESS TO ONE SOUL ,IT IS LIKE MAKING ALL HUMANITY HAPPY….RIP Aaron.

  122. Parrish Davis

    It saddens me everytime I read an article of yet another person taken much to soon. As the mother of a 23 year old daughter my heart is heavy for all who have to lose someone they love so dearly. The article hit close to home for me. My daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago with an inoperable brain tumor. The doctors told us from the beginning she wil not survive it. Still through it all she amazes me. Her concerns are not for herself but for others to include her husband, three children, family, and friends. She does not fret over trivial stuff. Gabby thoughts are to keep it simple. Many have said she is an old soul and I truly believe this. Gabby’s strength comes from helping others.

  123. Chris Romero

    Fantastic! Posted myself to help the effort along.

  124. Chris Romero

    Fantastic! Post the story myself to help the effort long!

  125. Dawn

    I think this is an awesome way of helping others that are in need . I am a waitress and money seems to be really hard at times . I work my butt off to make anything anymore . I chose not to leave my job because in the waitressing field hours can be flexible and I am a single mother of 6 kids . I live an hour away from my job and I too strugle alot . so these people I am sure are very blessed people because I am sure they are in the same situation

  126. Marlon

    Excelente historia, la cual esta dando la vuelta al mundo, =D

  127. Shelley

    Such an inspirational story! As my finances are tight now, I will tip you with a story of my own, when I was able to give:

    As a volunteer crisis pregnancy counselor, I once broke the rules and spent more than the allowed $15 of my own money for a mother of 3 children, who had called to ask for money to buy juice, bread, and milk for her 3 children.

    She stated she could not drive 25mi to pick up the $15 we are allowed to give for emergency financial assistance, as she did not have a car. She could not take a taxi and bring all 3 children; so I broke the rules and drove to her house. (It was not a safe part of town)

    I saw a totaled car out front and I took one look at her refrigerator (partially eaten cans of food) and threw everything out of there and took her shopping – I filled two carts full of food and household supplies. It turned out, a drunk driver had totaled her car a few days before and that’s why she could not drive to the center.

  128. Bonnie from Florida

    Aaron would and is very proud of you. Your family and your story is a blessing for all those it is shared with. I saw your video from GodVine, and I know in my heart that All of your family is like Aaron because thats where his love partly came from. His upbringing. Your love for your brother is a blessing that uplifts everyone that hears his story. Unless you have given to someone less fortunate than you are, you will never experience the JOY it fills you with to help others, because you want to help not because you have to help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me remember the JOY of helping others.

  129. Jeroen Wilms

    What a fantastic job you are doing Seth! And your whole family of course! Pay it forward is absoluely something we should all do! Just watched the movie after being inspired. Also great!

  130. Tari Shaw

    I think it’s really great what you & your family are doing for your brothers genuine generosity. What a great man! I just read that you are going to continue leaving $500 tips with all the donations you receive. But I also read in the media that your brothers 2nd wish was to help a homeless person, so maybe you should split your donations 50/50 for both helping the homeless & leaving big tips instead of all on big tips?? God Bless You & your family

    • sethc

      Tari, thanks for the suggestion. Because of the circumstances we received the donations under, I only feel comfortable using them for tips. My original statement was that we would use the donations for that purpose. So, using them for something else just wouldn’t feel right to me. I can’t know if the people who donated would want that or not. So instead, mom and I have happily given to homeless in Aaron’s name, from our own pockets. Thanks for writing!

  131. V.E.G.

    Aaron Collins’s heart was of gold.

  132. Mark Ashcraft

    A waitress that I have known now for about a year now received a $520 tip yesterday from an anonymous patron during the afternoon lunch rush. The restaurant is located in Shelbyville, Indiana.

    When I arrived for my afternoon coffee break, she was so excited. She shared with me the story of what happened: A gentleman came in and sat next to the waitress station. He was someone who she had not seen before. He overheard her tell one of the other waitresses that she was going to have trouble getting her daughter’s school supplies taken care of because the dead beat sperm donor was trying to get out of his child support obligation. When the gentlemen left, he came back a few minutes later, he laid a folded up placemat on the table. When she walked by a few minutes later, she saw a $20 bill sticking out under the placemat. When she picked it up, a wad of $20’s fell out, as I mentioned $520 in total.

    She also allowed me to read the note that the gentlemen written on the placemat. It was heartfelt and it directed her to aaroncollins.org. He wrote that Aaron was a friend of his. No name was given.

    She said she was going to use the money to buy her daughter school supplies, school clothes, pay her car insurance and share some with the other employees.
    She is a very loving mom who works hard to support herself and her daughter.

    Your brother definitely has impacted the life a little girl.

    God bless you and your family.

    • SethC

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Mark. It makes me wonder how often this is now happening around the world. It’s incredible.

    • Barb

      This is my kind of world. 🙂 Where something so heartfelt and
      uplifting can possibly go viral…… Bless all who care about the other guy : whether it’s a smile, a hug, a meal, or a tip… Anything.. I’ve bookmarked Aaron’s site…… and will help when I can also. The heart that beat inside Aaron must be the same that lives on in you: ‘his friends and family.’ What treasures………

  133. Cees

    Cool, I just read it on a dutch news site….world NEWS, greetings from Holland

  134. BobbieB

    Just watched the story on INSIDER EDITION I was so glad to have someone as kind and considerate as Aaron represent KY in such and amazing story. I am a server myself and very few people realize just how hard that line of work is. Bless you and your family and keep on celebrating your brother’s life in such a spectacular way!

  135. Sandy

    In the past 4 years I have lost my husband of 25 years followed 21 months later by the death of my only brother who lived with us. Both were bedridden and I cared for them until they passed away. My grief is beyond words.
    How wonderful for your family that as you gather to enjoy a nice dinner Aaron will be weighing so heavily in your thoughts it will feel as though he is there with you! God bless your family as you continue to bless these people while carrying on an amazing legacy for Aaron!
    I was so uplifted by Aaron’s story that I sent a very small donation even though I am disabled and living on Social Security.
    Thank you for sharing this awesome story!

  136. AmberLeigh

    I found the video on GodVine.com and just had to follow the link….

    What a incredible movement your brother has brought forth.

  137. Jinni

    This is a very touching story and im so sorry to hear about your lose. I served for a while and as a single parent it was very hard working for just tips. Yea we got paid 2.13 an hour but after taxes it was gone. One evening I had a couple come in from out of town and they just ordered a drink and told me about themselves and asked about me at the end of there time at my work they paid for thier bill which was only 10.00 and they tiped me 125.00 i cried. I was so greatful to finally not stress about bills for a week. I thanked them and everytime they came into town and visited they always asked for me and would tip me atleast 40-50% of their bill. I also try to tip extra when I have it because i know how hard it is and i know every little bit helps. I hope people carry on your brothers story, I know i will. God Bless.

  138. Lori

    What a wonderful way to remember Aaron and honour the person he was. I have lost two sisters, both in their 40’s, so I fully understand how hard it has been for Aaron’s family. It is a great and amazing thing that Aaron has created and I plan to ‘pay it forward’ in Aaron’s honour and in the honour of my sisters, Janice and Kathy the next time we eat out. Thank you

  139. Adrian

    Solo el amor puede crear magníficas obras y grandes ideas, una vez más podemos apreciar que la humanidad aún tiene mucho que entregar, felicidades familia… esa es la mejor manera de honrar su memoria.

  140. Travis smith

    Wow I think it’s amazing what you guys are doing I have texted and sent arroncollins.org to everyone I know! I think it’s the most amazing feeling when an idea so small can grow and branch into something that can change people’s lives…maybe through the rent or insurance or bills or just anything! you guys have not only cherished and carried out a last wish and memory, but you are changing over 500 people’s lives in such the simplest way!!!!!!!!!!! Please don’t stop, keep his wishes and the life changing events you are apart of grow!!!!!!! 😉

  141. Wayne Buxton _England UK

    Aarons wish list is a brilliant insight into the kind of person he is and although I dont know him pesonally I think it makes you think everyone has the ability to help in some way…….if I was Aaron I would be very proud of his family and brother also…his philosophy in life lives through you.Wow……..

  142. Patsy Hogg

    God Bless Aaron and his family for showing the true meaning of Charitable <3

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