ATLANTA — An Atlanta-area waitress will no doubt have a very Merry Christmas! Jazmine Castillo couldn't believe her ears and eyes as her Cash App lit up with incoming deposits starting last Wednesday.
"I was bathing my baby, and I started hearing my phone go off," Castillo said. "I don't usually get Cash App, so I didn't recognize the ring tone, and it just got crazier and crazier and it didn't stop from there. It didn't stop and it hasn't stopped."
It all began with a Facebook post by Castillo's customer, Rita Williams, who wrote about the "amazing customer service" she received even as Castillo was visibly stretched thin while working her shift at an IHOP restaurant. Williams began her generosity with a $20 tip for a $30 breakfast bill.
"She was like, 'oh my God, are you serious?'" explained Williams. "So I was like yeah, and I gave her another $20. You would have thought I gave this lady $1,000."
"When she handed me the $20 I was so grateful, and then she handed me another $20, and that's when I lost it because $40 is what I pay for child care a day," Castillo said. "When I make $100 (for the day) it's great."
Williams took things a step further by writing down Castillo's Cash App information. Later that day, she sent her $500 and shared the story on her Facebook page.
People who saw the post gave generously. So far Castillo has received $9,000.
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"Me and my family, we needed this," an emotional Castillo said. "This helps us, like y'all have no idea. We get a little push that we needed to just keep going because it's been really tough. My mom is sick, so I have to keep working because her medication has to be paid, and me and my sisters take turns paying for it. And I can't thank y'all enough for everything."
Williams' Facebook friends have created the #RitaRoseChallenge. They're all on a mission this holiday season to find their own Jazmine to bless.
"I challenged my friends to find a Jazmine," Williams said. "I wanted to tell people to find somebody in your community -- they could be your neighbor, they could be your girlfriend or homeboy going through some things."
Castillo calls Williams her angel, saying it would have taken about five tables for her to receive the $40 tip she was initially handed. As for the $9,000, she's beyond grateful.
"Y'all didn't have to do this for someone you don't know," Castillo said, holding back tears. "I'm a stranger to everyone, and it means so much. Times are tough for everyone, and y'all didn't have to do this. And you did so anyway. Thank you so much."