Strangers make a difference at lunch

Published 9:20 pm Monday, December 23, 2019

A group of generous patrons showed the true spirit of the holiday season recently, with a generous Christmas gift for a Suffolk restaurant employee.

A group of 17 diners met for lunch at George’s Steakhouse on Holland Road Dec. 16. According to Ray Miltier, who organized the gathering via Facebook, each person brought at least $100 to the meal, as per the plan.

They enjoyed their meals and some pleasant conversation. They paid for lunches, left their tips, then gave their server a card.

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Inside the card was about $1,480, which was the remainder of the group’s collective amount that they brought, Miltier said. They had come to lunch with $100-plus each so they could give their server — a complete stranger — a gift that would bring him or her joy.

Their server’s reaction made it clear that it was a great gift, Miltier said.

“You could tell it made a difference,” Miltier said about the George’s server, who declined to be interviewed for this story.

It was a generous gesture for a stranger, performed by a group that was mostly made of strangers themselves.

Miltier said he had formed a Facebook group about a week prior to the Dec. 16 lunch at George’s. He got the idea to get a group together for this generous act from a Facebook post he read.

He made a post himself to see if anyone would be interested. Friends of his liked the idea, and they in turn invited even more people. Most of the 17 people at that Dec. 16 lunch actually didn’t know each other.

“You had people who didn’t know each other, sitting with each other (and) having lunch,” Miltier said. “Fellowship and that sense of community, just in the spirit of helping somebody.”

Miltier’s friend, Steven Caron, said it was simply about giving back and helping someone else in the community, a service that’s needed not just during the holidays, but all year long.

“Whenever you have the opportunity to give back and serve on others, it’s good to be able to do that,” Caron said.

They were all inspired to help someone they didn’t even know, and perhaps inspire others to do the same.

“They all came together to help somebody else and not ask any questions of who it was,” Miltier said. “We were going to leave it up to faith, and faith came through.”