ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A local business owner had a big surprise for a random server at a restaurant in St. Louis County this weekend. Thanks to a viral crowdfunding campaign, she gave a $2,021 tip to a waitress and she's planning to give out another huge tip next weekend.
Nicole Genz owns RF Home Co, a refurbished furniture store in Kirkwood, and she brought the Venmo Challenge to the St. Louis area. Through the company's Facebook page, she requested that people send her just $1 or any amount they'd like through Venmo and then "every single dollar will be given to a St. Louis county server" as a surprise tip. The trend was started by a TikTok user last year with more than 1 million followers, who challenged others to do the same for their communities.
So Genz first posted about the challenge on New Year's Eve with a goal of just $1,000. But now she's already gifted more than $4,000! The first surprise happened on Saturday night:
In the video, she explained to the server that it's a gift from all of the followers of her business' Facebook page.
The next night, they went out and tried to do it again, with another $2,021. But the waiter at Saffron Indian Cuisine wouldn't accept it. He asked for them to keep it and give it to another business who is struggling more than he and his restaurant is.
Genz says this coming weekend they'll be going out to surprise another local server.
She says she'll continue to do it as long as the donations keep coming in. You can learn more on their Facebook and contribute via her Venmo account: @ndawn. And they are also going to give $100 to a random person who donated to the cause.
"It doesn't matter who they are. It doesn't' matter where they're from. It doesn't matter what their political affiliation is," Genz explains. "You're just picking someone at random and doing something nice, which is what I like about it."