Employees Surprise Coworker with Ticket to See Her Family

Earlier this week, employees of a restaurant in Laredo, Texas surprised their coworker when they gave her a generous gift. She had been feeling homesick and really wanted to go home for a family gathering. The gift was a plane ticket that she needed so that she could travel to a family reunion. The act of kindness was shared on social media and has since gone viral.


Mary Keulana-Riotutar studies, lives, and works in Laredo but she came from Hawaii. She was there on a volleyball scholarship but she has been working at the Cheddars Scratch Kitchen to support herself. She hasn’t seen her family in six years. That’s when her friends and coworkers at the restaurant decided to surprise her with a plane ticket so she could go home to Hawaii and see her family. Riotutar shared the surprise gift on social media.

“I don’t usually post this kind of stuff but for this to happen to ME like wow,” she wrote on Facebook, “There are no words to express my gratitude. So I’ll start by saying if you all know me I’m not from Laredo, I’m from Hawaii & well I haven’t been home in about 5 or 6 years. I miss my mom, my family, the food, the aloha, EVERYTHING & well I talk about it like ALL THE TIME. So! Last week people that I haven’t even known for more than one year, my coworkers and friends decided to give me the biggest blessing that I have EVER received…a flight home!!!”


“As I’m typing this I can’t even find the words to describe how I feel or how to thank each & every person who pitched in for ME! I know I’m not the easiest person to get along with, but for those who are closest to me know that I’m ALWAYS gonna be there to help you WHENEVER you need help, support, or just a friend to talk to. So for this to happen to ME I can’t even believe it. Thank you my cheddars family for sending me home to my beautiful momma P.S. I look scary when i cry🌚 It’s okay though it’s happy tears.”

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