05/15/2014 10:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cash-Strapped Waitress On Food Stamps Gets $1,000 Tip That's Going To Change Everything

The past two years have been pretty rough for a single Arizona mom. But, thanks to a kind gesture from complete strangers, things have started to look up.

After Danielle Thomas' son was diagnosed with a serious illness several years ago, the doting mother decided to quit her job to help care for her child, but she was then saddled with medical bills and had a nervous breakdown, she told Determined to help her son recover, Thomas took a meagerly paying waitress job because the hours were flexible, and reluctantly signed up for food stamps.

Thomas told ABC 15 that she was always forthcoming about reporting her income to the Department of Economic Services (DES) but, even so, she recently got a disturbing notice from the agency. DES informed her that due to a clerical error, it had overpaid her.

The agency insisted that she owed $800, according to

The problem was, the cash-strapped mom had spent the money and had nowhere to turn for help.

Thomas was on the brink of losing hope on the night she told a kind couple at the restaurant where she works about her woes.

Midway through the conversation, the empathetic husband and wife turned to her and gave her a $1,000 tip.

"The gentleman just took out his credit card and was like, 'I’m, giving you $1,000,'" she told ABC 15. "It was just ... out of this world."

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