Student Leaves $3,000 Tip In Honor Of Former Middle School Teacher

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We've all had that teacher who inspired us, and whose lessons we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. For one anonymous student, that memorable lesson from an incredible teacher compelled him to leave a $3,000 tip, and so much more.

3 years ago, Richard and Samantha Specht suffered a tragedy no parent should ever have to endure.

 n 2012, their 22-month-old son Richie "Rees" Specht drowned in their backyard pond after a miscommunication with a neighbor led to the boy being left momentarily unattended while the family prepared for Hurricane Sandy.

Naturally, the Specht family was devastated by the loss.

But during their darkest hour, Richard and Samantha’s community on Long Island rallied together to support the grieving couple. To help ease the pain, a local nursery converted the pond into a garden and refused any monetary compensation. 

And it was this act that inspired the Specht family to help others in desperate need of a little kindness. 
 And the foundation's mission is simple: spread that kindness throughout the world with their "Pay It Forward" campaign.

And with every act of kindness, comes a card and a promise to Pay it Forward.

 To date, 100,000 cards have already made their way into circulation around the world.

But the Specht family never expected their Pay It Forward movement would result in this:

A few days ago, Richard (a science teacher at Great Hollow Middle School) received an email containing a photo from an individual who requested to remain anonymous. The photo showed a 6800% tip on a 43.50 bill, with a note on the back. The note reads:

"Thank you for your kindness and humility. My teacher in middle school had such a difficult experience a few years ago which has sparked me to do this. My only requirements are: 
1) Go to and learn! 
2) Don’t let ‘Pay it forward’ end with you. 
3) Since it’s about the idea and not about you, or me, if you decide to share this, don’t use either of our names! 
Thank you for being around for all of my shows on and off Broadway. I hope that someday someone gives as much love and happiness into the world as you do.

Much love”

Richard was absolutely stunned...

He wrote in his blog, "my mouth sat agape as stared at a picture attached to her reply that showed a restaurant receipt with a $3,000.00 tip on it… I literally did a double, even triple take. [...] 

In staring at that receipt I never noticed the name and it wasn’t until I read the note did I realize that it was a former student of mine. I immediately recalled who he was and realized that I had him at least ten years ago. [...] 

To think that someone I had a decade ago would honor my little boy or even remember his 8th grade science teacher in such a way blows me away. "

Thanks to the internet, this story has gone viral-- and with any luck, the attention it's receiving will help further the Specht's mission of making the world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time.

To start Paying it Forward, you can order your own cards for free here. Brb, ordering a million of them.

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