PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Nearly a dozen people surprised a New Jersey waitress with a $1,200 cash tip as an early holiday gift.
Zellie Thomas and a group of his friends left the tip with Angelica Alicea, a waitress at a Paterson IHOP restaurant on Saturday.
Each person brought $100 to the restaurant and handed it to the unsuspecting waitress.
"The waitress was so shocked that she tried to return the money at first," said Thomas.
"I cried, I cried a half hour on and off," said Alicea.
The group wanted to show Alicea appreciation for the way she treats everyone that she serves every single day.
Alicea was grateful.
"It uplifted my spirit because some people care and they were paying attention, and that feels really good at any time of the year," said Alicea.
"I hope the tip inspires others to do good deeds for strangers," said Thomas. "I really hope this shows people that there's power in community and all it takes is a group of friends to come together and change someone else's life."