Former waitress who robbed restaurant sends owner $1,000


*Featured image contains photo by Tima Miroshnichenko and MART PRODUCTION

Doing good deeds does not always come easily to us. Doing good things for people we have wronged in the past can be even harder. We often avoid situations we have committed in the past that require us to look within.

The shame of facing our mistakes feels like it outweighs the benefits that come from righting those wrongs. However, an anonymous woman has proven that apologizing is the way to go.

What was in a sealed letter from an anonymous sender

Photo by John-Mark Smith

A restaurant owner from Tuscon, Arizona named Carlotta Flores was having a rough few days. She had had her purse stolen and felt negative about the nature of humanity when she returned to work. In his restaurant, however, the mood was about to change.

Her son gave her a sealed envelope addressed to her. She didn’t recognize the handwriting, but opened the envelope anyway. Inside, she found a letter and a neat stack of ten $100 bills, totaling $1,000!

In the letter, an unnamed woman explained that she had worked for Carlotta while attending college 20 years earlier and had stolen from restaurants while employed. However, she was fired before she had a chance to steal more than $100. The letter said:

Dear Carlotta and family, I worked for you as a waitress very briefly in the 1990s. One of the servers I worked with had encouraged me to “forget” to ring a few drinks per shift and pocket the ‘silver. And for some stupid reason, I did. It’s been 20 years, but I still have great remorse. I’m really sorry for stealing from you. Please accept my apologies and this money back + 20 years interest.

Anonymous sender

Carlotta, whose Tuscon restaurant chain has been in her family for over a hundred years, was moved to tears. She had wondered if there were still nice people in this world, and this letter confirmed that there were. Carlotta acknowledged that $1,000 is a lot of money, and most people wouldn’t have done what this woman did.

How a former waitress proved the importance of doing well

She immediately decided that this wonderful letter was a sign and that she would take the money and do a good deed on her own. After consulting with her husband and children, the Flores family decided to use the $1,000 as start-up capital to create a fund to help people in the hospitality industry who are going through tough times. The family would add to the fund each year and distribute the money to help servers, waitresses and cooks in need.

“I know that wherever that person is, whoever they are, they had to work hard to earn that money and send it to us. I want her to know that her decision had a huge impact. We will carry his example of doing the right thing for many years to come,” said Carlotta.

The anonymous woman was very thoughtful when she sent the letter to Carlotta Flores. Her generosity of spirit was so powerful that it inspired Carlotta to help many other hospitality workers and ensure they did not fall through the hard times that plagued the letter writer.

We should all be willing to face up to our wrongdoings and apologize for them – we can just inspire others to do the same, and we can even change the world.


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do the right thing

One good deed can lead to another.


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