64
64
8

A Christmas Gift for Rhonda

$855 of $700 goal

Raised by 62 people in 2 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created December 9, 2017
So this is an odd story,  but something I thought could benefit from the Christmas spirit.

I am originally from Long Island, but live in Charleston now. When I'm home, I frequent an IHOP (whatever, Rootie Tootie Fresh n' Fruity, hello?), usually with my sister and brother in law who live in Massapequa. We stopped in recently, and we were served by an incredibly lovely woman named Rhonda, whom my sister and brother in law have had as a server before. Having worked in food and bev for ten years, I was actually shocked at how incredibly kind, accomodating, and just genuine this lady was, professional in her work ethic but kind in her conversation and demeanor. My brother in law told me that several months ago, this woman - who has been at this location for fifteen years and has a large following of regulars - almost lost her job and was arrested while at work. I was SHOCKED. That lady?!

If you read the news reports, it's made to sound as though Rhonda attacked a family with two special needs children for no reason. The reality, we were told, was much different. The family, a nightmare from the get go, rude and condescending to Rhonda and complaining about pricing and service, was so terrible in their time at the restaurant, the manager asked THEM to leave (anyone who works in food and bev knows it takes a LOT for that to happen). Destroyed the table, made a mess, etc. We were told as they left, they dumped a full glass of orange juice on the table on purpose. We were told they also threw the N word out at her, which, judging by the mother's Facebook (in which she calls cops the N word in a status of hers for not giving her a pen to write down their badge numbers, calls someone who hit her car the N word, and makes horribly derogatory comments about Jewish people), I believe to be 100% true. 

Prior to my writing career, I worked as a bartender, server and hostess for ten years in several establishments in NYC, Charleston and LA. Anyone who has worked this industry knows these horror stories and has experience with customers like these people. The people who think the mantre "the customer is always right" translates to "I can treat my server like garbage".  Racists. People looking for a comped meal, a free drink. The Yelpers who think their bad review is enough of a threat to get perks and free stuff. I sympathize with Rhonda, and honestly see her as a hero without a cape. 

She is a single mom, and while I think she probably does well at her job (simply because she hustles, is incredibly nice and just makes your meal that much better), I still thought it would be nice to give her something extra the next time we go in before Christmas. I think it's terrible that when people Google her name, the articles that come up make her look like a crazy criminal, when the reality is, she was pushed to a terrible point by horrible people and almost lost her livlihood because of it. 

Anyone who knows me knows this money raise is genuine. I'm not gonna go all Grinch and take the money for myself, I don't need it. I will gladly even post a picture of the check and when it's cashed. You can Google the story yourself using the main words in here. I chose to leave out the names of the mother and father combo because I don't want it to be about them, I want this to be about giving a kindness to a woman who was put in this position. 

Like I said, as someone who has worked in, struggled with and written about the service industry for so many years, this story just stuck with me all day after having met Rhonda. I just thought this would be a nice time of year to remind her that not all customers (and most customers, in fact) are jerks who will look down on her or treat her poorly. That people do appreciate someone who works hard and is a genuinely good person who clearly takes pride in and cares about her job. Any amount, $1, $5, $10, $20,  will go a long way, and we will be bringing it to her sometime in the next week. I also plan on giving  a card with everyone who donated's name. Please donate if you can, and if you can't please share the link on your Facebook, Twitter or blog!
+ Read More
And here are the rest of the photos!
The notes people left on here for her
My sister, Jackie, before we saw Rhonda
At IHOP to give Rhonda the gift!
+ Read More
Hi everyone!!!

Today, we dropped the check off to Rhonda. Someone tipped her off that it was happening (UGH!) so when she came over, she knew it was coming, but she was SO incredibly grateful. It was very emotional, so we did not record or take pictures of it happening, but she couldn't have been more gracious or kind or thankful. She really is such a nice woman, and I'm so glad, with the help of so many people (especially The Bitchy Waiter) we were able to get her real story out, clear her name a little bit, and give her an amazing gift to remind her that not every customer is a terrible person. That her kindness, work ethic, and positive attitude can really have a lasting impression on people, like it did on me.

I attached a couple pictures below of the check, the card, the letter, the list of donor names and the list of comments, all of which we put in the card so she could see how many awesome people really do care.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated. There was no donation too small, every donation made a massive difference and every donor should pat themselves on the back for helping to give a woman who has been through a lot this year, an amazing gift not just of money, but of the reminder that we appreciate good, kind, hard working people like herself.

Thank you so much again, have a happy holiday!

The Check!
The letter we put in the card
List of donors so she knew who helped!
+ Read More
Hey all! We have withdrawn the donations and are waiting for them to post in the bank account! GFM said it takes between 2-5 days, so as soon as they post, we'll cut the check and post it for you guys to see!
+ Read More
Hey everyone! Closing down the donations tonight to make the withdrawal and get the process rolling! It takes 2-5 days for the money to process through to the bank account. As soon as we cut the check, will post it on here! The Bitchy Waiter is also going to have updates as we go along! Will keep you all posted as to what day we plan on dropping it off!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$855 of $700 goal

Raised by 62 people in 2 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created December 9, 2017
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
MD
$10
Michelle Diller
2 months ago
RJ
$10
Rachel Jordan
2 months ago
AS
$5
Aimee Saucier
2 months ago
$25
Tee Kenny
2 months ago
$5
Anonymous
2 months ago
LC
$40
Linda Carkhuff
2 months ago
ES
$5
Erin Schmidt
2 months ago
$25
Anonymous
2 months ago
$5
Maria Burchfield
2 months ago
$5
Anonymous
2 months ago
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.