Stranger's $500 Tip Saves Single Mom's Christmas: 'I Couldn't Believe It'

Trisha Murphy
Trisha Murphy

She had gotten her car towed the night before.

Christmas will be a little easier for one single mom of three in Maine after she received a generous tip from a stranger. 

Trisha Murphy was already feeling stressed about the upcoming holiday before her car was towed Friday. Despite working two jobs, she could not afford to get her car back.

On Saturday, Murphy was working at her waitress job at Denny’s in Maine and having a particularly hard day.

“I was feeling very stressed and almost like a failure. I thought for sure that Christmas was going to be a failure and I wasn't going to get my car back,” Murphy told “Without my car, I can't get to work, so it would have been the start to a downward spiral.”

That’s when three men sat down at a table she was waiting.

“They looked like they just came from a job site, nothing out of the ordinary,” Murphy said. “Their meal totaled 38.00.”

But when it came time to pay the check, Murphy was shocked to find that one of the men had left her a $500 tip.

“I couldn't believe it when I saw the tip. I thought it was a mistake until he smiled and said, ‘Merry Christmas.’ I thought I was going to faint,” Murphy said.

She thanked the stranger for his kindness, adding that his gesture saved her family this season.

She has since gotten her car back and is looking forward to the holiday.