Viral TikTok challenge raises money for server, LGBTQ kids

Published: Jun. 21, 2021 at 3:24 PM CDT
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BATH, Maine (WMTW) - Gifting money to strangers isn’t something new for Meredith Steele. This Christmas, she and her TikTok followers raised money and surprised people up and down the coastline.

“I’ve always done them really randomly and gone to like complete strangers and given them money,” Steele said.

A week and a half ago she started a new challenge.

“So, I’ve worked in restaurants for the last 15 years. And my best friend just shared with me today that a coworker of hers who is openly gay was twice today tipped zero dollars and his zero dollar tip was accompanied by a church pamphlet,” Steele explained in the social media video.

So, she challenged her followers again – to raise money for the server.

“You have exceeded my expectations by thousands. Like thousands of dollars more than I ever thought humanly possible could be contributed by strangers on the internet.

“In less than 24 hours I raised so much more money than I ever could have humanly imagined,” Steele said on TikTok.

The waiter asked Steele to not disclose how much money was raised, but she did say the amount was “life-changing.”

“When I gave the server his gift I said to him I’d really like to use a portion of this to donate to Equality Maine and they have a camp for teens and the server was like this is awesome, this is definitely something I support,” Steele said.

On top of the waiter’s gift, they raised $10,000 for Equality Maine to send 40 LGBTQ kids to camp this summer.

“So to be able to do that much for a stranger and then 40 kids, I feel like I still haven’t fully wrapped my mind around how cool it is,” Steele said.

Steele’s TikTok challenge is proof that a little kindness can go a long way.

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