Man leaves $3,000 tip to pay it forward

(Photo courtesy

NEW YORK (WISH) — A man from New York City left his server a $3,000 tip last week on a bill that cost $43.50. He did it, simply to pay it forward.

Mike, who asked to remain anonymous, said the woman had been serving him for almost a year. He said different factors contributed to the large tip.

He said she was a lovely individual and talked about how she was served an eviction notice last month.

Another reason he wanted to pay it forward was because he had been thinking for quite some time about a project and foundation his eighth grade teacher started.

The foundation is “ReesSpecht Life,” a pay-it-forward movement started by his science teacher, Rich Specht. Specht started the movement after his 22-month-old son died in a tragic drowning accident.

Specht said he and his wife received a lot of help from others after the passing of their child. He said he and his wife started the foundation because after the funeral no one would let them pay them back.

The Spechts printed business cards and encouraged others to pay it forward. They have distributed more than 100,000 cards worldwide.

Mike said he had been trying to pay it forward and this was an opportunity for him to honor his former teacher who he thinks so highly of.

Mike gave the waitress $3,000 since Manhattan rents are so expensive.

“She really needed it and has been so happy since then, so I feel I did the right thing,” he said. “She said she was going to devote herself to the foundation and continue to pay it forward.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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