Was Kris Kringle in St. Petersburg, Florida this past week? Everything was running like normal for diners at the 54th Ave Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in St. Pete. Chicken fried chicken, hashbrown casserole, and buttermilk biscuits were enjoyed just like every day of the week. However, everything completely changed when diners entered the gift shop to pay for their meals. An anonymous donor had taken care of the entire restaurant's bill.
Linda Schneegold was one of the diners at the Saint Petersburg Cracker Barrel that afternoon. After a hard year due to a broken hip, Linda shared with Bay New 9 how bills were tight. "I didn't work for months, so I am broke. I mean my bills, I couldn't pay 'em, because I didn't have a paycheck," Schneegold shared.
Her sister Suzie decided to treat her to dinner at Cracker Barrel, but upon reaching the cashier, she realized that the bill had been paid for in full. The sisters were shocked.
According to Manager James Wood, the donor sat down to enjoy his meal and decided to pay for everyone's meals up to 7 pm. In total, he paid for 120-150 people and rang up a bill of nearly $2,000. That's a whole lotta grits, chicken and dumplins, and tasty banana pudding.
James Wood also shared that this wasn't the first time the donor came in to pay for other diner's bills. Last Thursday the donor paid the bill of anyone who was dining alone and included gratuity for the servers as well.
His kindness inspired many people that day. While not everyone can pay for an entire restaurant's bill, there are many ways to give back, including buying the coffee of the person behind you or shoveling your neighbor's sidewalk.
One book that really explores how giving and kindness affects people is Giving it All Away...and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously by Bill High and David Green, the CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby.
Through kindness comes joy. So what are you waiting for?
Watch: Why We Love Cracker Barrel