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Couple tips waitress $400, pays off her $10,000 student loans

By Ben Hooper
An Australian couple left a waitress at a Hawaii restaurant a $400 tip, but that's not all -- they also paid off her $10,000 student loan debt. Screenshot: Honolulu Civil Beat/Facebook
An Australian couple left a waitress at a Hawaii restaurant a $400 tip, but that's not all -- they also paid off her $10,000 student loan debt. Screenshot: Honolulu Civil Beat/Facebook

April 14 (UPI) -- A waitress at a popular restaurant in Hawaii was given a $400 tip by a couple who later augmented their generosity by paying off her $10,000 student loan debt.

Cayla Chandara, 22, said she has been working 80 hours a week at two restaurants to cover her cost of schooling, and on April 5 she waited on an Australian couple at one of the eateries, Noi Thai Cuisine.

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"They asked me where I was from, and I told them I moved here for school but I was kind of in a little bit of debt and I couldn't go back to school, because I couldn't afford it and the cost of living here," Chandara told KHON-TV.

She said the couple paid their $200 tab, and they were gone from the restaurant before she noticed they had left her a $400 tip.

"I just thought it was so generous of them. I never get tipped that big. I had to say thank you," she said. "During dinner, they told me where they were staying, so I ran there after work to see if they'd still be there."

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Chandara said she returned the next day with a thank-you card and flowers for the couple, but they had their own surprise for her -- they wanted to pay off her $10,000 student loan debt.

"I was like, 'No way, you don't have to do that for me. I just wanted to say thank you,'" Chandara said. "I still don't feel like it's real. I want to run around in the streets."

She said the couple have now pledged to continue paying for her schooling until she graduates. She said she plans to study business and liberal arts.

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