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You deserve it -- that $500 tip is no mistake


This has been a summer of oppressive weather, political infighting and tragic violence, but it's also been a summer -- perhaps surprisingly, given the heated news -- for generous tips.

In July, Aaron Collins, a 30-year-old from Kentucky left a dying wish to his family: He wanted them to leave a waitress a $500 tip. Before he died on July 7, he told relatives that he had wanted to eat pizza and leave a big tip but didn’t have the money, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The family left that generous tip and has started giving $500 tips once a week in honor of Aaron. Money for the tips come from donations to an online nonprofit set up by the family.

Now, unrelated to the Collins’ tip mission, is the story of Kristen Ruggiero, a waitress from Cranston, R.I. who received $458 on a $42 check. Ruggiero has been a waitress at Uncle Tony’s Pizza and Pasta restaurant for 15 years.

"I thought it was a mistake," Ruggiero told the Providence Journal. These were new customers, she told the Journal, who had ordered one large pizza, a Marc Anthony hot sub sandwich, a large salad and a pitcher of beer.

A month later, the couple returned to the restaurant – and Ruggiero approached, ready to return the money in case they had left the five $100 bills by mistake.

But the man at the table assured her that it wasn’t a mistake and that she deserved the money.

Video of Seth Collins, Aaron Collins’ brother, giving $500 to a server in New York: