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'TipsForJesus' Is Leaving Thousands Of Dollars For Servers

By NPR Staff | 12/02/2013

"Crazy-generous" tips, as Gawker says, have been showing up on checks across the nation as some anonymous good Samaritans known only as "TipsForJesus" add hundreds or thousands of dollars to their restaurant and bar bills.

In South Bend, Ind., $10,000 was tacked on to the tab at Legends of Notre Dame on Oct. 19 — the day the Fighting Irish played the University of Southern California Trojans. Three men enjoyed themselves at the bar before and after the game. "We were all super shocked" by how much they tipped, bartender Ashley Rust told the South Bend Tribune.

Eater, a food site "for people who care about dining and drinking in the nation's most important food cities," has rounded up other examples of the generosity:

"Tips include several in Ann Arbor, Michigan ($3,000 at Tio's Mexican Cafe, $2,000 at the Alley Bar), a few in Chicago ($3,000 at the Boundary, $5,000 at Paris Club), and a whole bunch in Los Angles ($1,000 at Fig & Olive, $10,000 at the Hungry Cat, $500 at Jumbo's Clown Room)."

TipsForJesus has been chronicling its good deeds on Instagram, saying its mission is "doing the Lords [sic] work, one tip at a time." Gawker estimates about $54,000 has been handed out in the past several months.

You'll probably note that some of the places and dates, such as the Oct. 19 visit to South Bend, coincide with big-time college football games. As Eater writes, "TipsForJesus seems to be a college football fan, occasionally lining up with various football games (at Michigan and Notre Dame). A few also bear USC's slogan of 'Fight On.' "

By the way, after reports last week that the two, $5,000 tips added to the bills in South Bend hadn't been cleared by the credit card company, TipsForJesus posted a photo of a credit card statement indicating that the bills had been OK'd. "Let's be clear, the Legends of Notre Dame tips were processed by AMEX and paid," the caption with the photo says.

We've previously posted about a similar feel-good story — "Aaron's last wish" to leave $500 tips for waiters and waitresses.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.