Stranger gives VB waitress $650 tip through ‘Venmo challenge’

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Tucked in the Vibe Creative District in Virginia Beach is Commune, a restaurant serving up breakfast and lunch.

Last week was winding down to be a normal workweek for Commune waitress Aubrey Suykerbuyk — until Dan Pew and his fiance walked in. More was brewing than just coffee.

“I spoke with Aubrey a little bit and told me she was a psych major,” said Pew.

“He was just asking me about school and how long I’ve worked here,” said Suykerbuyk.

After the couple finished their meal and she went to give them their check, they started recording this interaction.

“Over 35 people donated and we want to give you a tip of $650,” said Pew.

Pew grabbed the cash and started counting out the $650 he raised through a social media “Venmo challenge.” It was a challenge where people donated money through Venmo, a mobile payment app, and then passed it along to someone as a surprise.

Suykerbuyk, who was out of work for two months because of COVID-19, says this generous act couldn’t have come at a better time.

“I just, I didn’t know what to think at all, I was just so overwhelmed,” Suykerbuyk said.

And Pew didn’t end up just helping Suykerbuyk.

“That generous — that so generous contribution just really helped me and all my coworkers so much because we share tips,” she said.

Pew says he hopes others see this and think about doing the “Venmo challenge” too.

“It wasn’t about me it wasn’t about the money. it was about spreading some love,” said Pew.

“That little act of kindness that generous act of kindness is just enough to make me realize there’s still good people,” she said.

She says she’s working on her degree and this money will definitely help toward that.

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