Branson Waitress Receives Tip of a Lifetime

By Grant Sloan | gsloan@kolr10.com, Lex Smith | lsmith@kolr10.com

Published 12/04 2014 06:40PM

Updated 12/04 2014 07:19PM

BRANSON, Mo. -- The story of a unique tip given to a waitress in Branson has not only caught the attention of the community, but thousands of people on social media.

Cindi Grady is a waitress at Cracker Barrel, and while people tend to be a bit more generous around the holidays she says a gift she recently received came at the perfect time.

"I was in a spot where I was depressed," says Grady, "Just feeling like nobody cares, it's very different now."

Grady says she loves her job, it's just that getting to work was a bit of a problem.

"It runs pretty good," says Grady, "[It's just] the cosmetic stuff is falling apart, the deer really got to it."

Grady says she has hit five deer with her car.

Little did Grady know some regulars at the Branson restaurant, a couple from Arkansas, had noticed Grady's car in the parking lot a few months back.

"I thought it was abandoned actually, it was in such bad shape," says Arkansas resident Gary Tackett, "Come back the next trip, and that car was still sitting in the parking lot."

Tackett and his wife had only meet Grady in passing, so they started asking around the restaurant about the owner of the car. They soon learned it was the car of an employee.

"I talked with my wife about it," says Tackett, "And I said, 'something has to be done.'"

With just weeks left before Christmas, the Tackett's made anther trip back to the restaurant. After being waited on by Grady, they decided to unveil the tip of a lifetime.

"It's not new, but it's new to you," says Tackett in a video taken on his daughter's cell phone.

The video has taken over Facebook, something the Tacketts say they never wanted. Gary Tackett and his wife say they simply wanted to take care of someone because they could.

"It's all about what's in your heart," says Tackett, ""I know Cindi said it was her best Christmas ever, and I can assure you it's ours."

"It restored my faith in humanity," says Grady, "And everyone I talked to says the same thing."

While the Tackett's gift may be what catches people's attention, Grady hopes that those who see the story take away something else.

"There are good people in this world that are watching" says Grady, "And you may not even know them."

After seeing what deer were capable of doing to her old car, Grady says the first thing she did to her new car was put deer whistles on it.

She says the story has also had a domino effect with the community. Grady says she was able to get her insurance transferred for free, and her first inspection was free.


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