Published October 19, 2013
A New Hampshire waitress who picked up the lunch tab of two National Guard soldiers affected by the federal government's shutdown has been repaid – more than 300 times over – by television star Ellen DeGeneres.
Sarah Hoidahl, a waitress in Concord, N.H., just wanted to do a nice thing for the soldiers, so she paid for their lunch. It cost her $27.75. On Friday, DeGeneres squared the tab and then some, giving Hoidahl $27.75 in cash and a check for $10,000.
An emotional Hoidahl buried her face in her hands and thanked DeGeneres as the talk show host repeated, "You're a good person."
DeGeneres caught wind of Hoidahl's act of kindness when the New Hampshire National Guard posted a picture on its Facebook page. Ellen also gave her a 50-inch television.
Hoildahl was waiting tables at a Ruby Tuesday in Concord, New Hampshire, when two National Guard members sat in her section for lunch, FoxCarolina.com reported.
Holidahl, a 21-year-old single mother who reportedly has friends in the military and is dating a Marine, heard the women discussing the furlough and mention that they weren’t getting paid.
After they had finished their meal instead of delivering the soldiers a check, she sent them a note.
"Thanks to the government shutdown the people like you that protect this country are not getting paid, however I still am. Lunch is on me thank you for serving ladies! Have a good day!" the note read.
The Associated Press contributed to this report