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Christmas miracle: single mother receives $1,500 tip to buy gifts for her children

KMSB News 9-10 p.m. recurring
Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 6:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A single mother of five was struggling to get her young children Christmas presents this year. That is until a chance encounter with 14 strangers. They left the Tucson waitress a jaw-dropping tip.

“I have a set of twins, a three-year-old, an eight and a nine-year-old,” said Dinahlee Escudero.

“My mom is a very loving person,” said Hector Siqueiros. “She works very, very hard.”

Dinahlee works at Guadalajara Mexican Grill on Broadway Boulevard. It was shaping up to be a rough holiday for her. After being off work sick for a couple of weeks, she was scrambling to make up for lost income.

Little did she know Cheryl and Bryan Holms were brainstorming ways to bless a family this Christmas.

“By no means are we rich,” said Cheryl. “I would rather be rich in love than rich in money.”

Because the couple is rich in love, they have a big support network. The two decided to throw a dinner party at a local restaurant and asked each person to bring $100. What they didn’t spend on the meal would go towards the tip. The Holms created a Facebook event, and friends from all over also started donating.

“[There] are over 1,000 restaurants out there,” said Herbert Perez, the manager of Guadalajara on Broadway. “To choose Guadalajara is just amazing!”

Perez was thrilled to get the call last week. He couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient than Dinahlee. On Saturday, Dinahlee was none the wiser as she served a party of 14.

“At the end of the dinner, I was given an envelope and they said that was a gift for me,” she said. “I went to the back and opened it and it was $1,500!”

Shocked, Dinahlee went back to the table to ask if they meant to give her so much. When the group insisted she take the tip, she shared a tearful hug with Cheryl.

Dinahlee knew immediately what the money would be used for.

“I went Christmas shopping for my five kids,” she said. “We had absolutely nothing for Christmas and that was honestly a miracle for my family.”

She calls them her ‘Christmas angels.’

“Don’t wait for one big thing,” said Bryan. “Just get out there every day and do your best and make the world a better place.”

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