An Illinois IHOP waiter who garnered national attention after a photo of him helping a disabled patron eat went viral said he’s out there to help anyone he can, and that he’s even received an offer to become a nurse. Joe Thomas, who said he regularly waits on the couple featured in the photo, wanted the pair to enjoy their meal together.
“I always see him stop eating to feed her and I was like, ‘Heck, if I’m not doing anything why don’t I go feed her so he can eat and everyone can be happy?’” Thomas told WICS. “My parents always told me to treat people equally, and that’s what I try to do all the time.”
A nearby customer witnessed Thomas’ kind gesture and snapped a photo. She later shared it with the IHOP Facebook page, where it was shared an additional 4,800 times and received more than 11,000 likes.
“Today while visiting your Springfield, IL location on Dirksen I witnessed a very touching moment involving one of your servers,” Keshia Dotson posted on March 25. “A man and disabled women were dining and your server sat down with them and proceeded to help feed the disabled woman while her companion enjoyed his food. My faith in humanity has been restored a little today.”
Thomas’ coworkers and other customers weighed in echoing Dotson’s sentiments.
“This man is a great server. He’s waited on my family a few times when we’ve been to IHOP. This warms my heart to see this. What a kind soul. Keep doin [SIC] you young man,” Melissa Roberts posted.
Thomas told WICS that he has seen some of the comments and the support he’s received online.
“It really felt good for somebody to actually see another person is doing something and take notice,” Thomas told the news outlet. “It felt good, but at the same time I was like I really don’t care for the recognition too much because it’s just something that should automatically be done regardless. I am out there to help anyone if I can, don’t really look for anything in return just to have a good day and that’s it.”