Stranger Pays for 6-Yr-Old’s Birthday Party at Applebee’s—Then the Manager Tells Mom Why He’s “Sworn to Secrecy”

Tuesday, September 26, is what Jolie Welling would normally call “just a random weekday.”

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But for this Washington, Pennsylvania, mother, it’s now a day she’ll never forget.

To celebrate her daughter Sofia’s 6th birthday, Jolie planned a dinner for 16 of their friends and family at the local Applebee’s.

They all had the works: “drinks, appetizers and full-course meals,” before finishing off with some homemade cupcakes Jolie had brought for the occasion.


But when it came time to pay the bill for Sofia’s tasty celebration, Jolie got the surprise of her life.

Unbeknownst to any of the party guests, a couple at the restaurant had anonymously picked up the entire tab!

Jolie flagged down the waitress for the bill, who left her crying tears of joy when she delivered the news.

“I think it was the sweetest thing that anyone has ever done,” Jolie says.


Applebee’s assistant manager, Bernie Lewis, says the couple who footed this bill has been doing this kind of thing for years. He says he’s sworn to secrecy, and will not disclose their names.

The one thing the waitress could tell Jolie is that the anonymous man says, “I grew up poor and now I’m not.”

Jolie says it meant the world for her daughter to see and experience this incredible act of kindness. Because of how “happy” it made them feel, Jolie is determined to pay it forward the next time they go out to eat.

One act of kindness can start a chain reaction. May Jolie’s experience prompt you to do something kind for another today. You never know just how God could use you to be the light in someone else’s life.

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Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.