Local server stiffed by customer goes viral

Published: Aug. 23, 2016 at 6:13 PM EDT
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It's the story grabbing attention around the world, that was first seen on WHSV. A Harrisonburg server claims she got a nasty note instead of a tip. Now, her story has been shared throughout the world on a wide variety of news networks.

You can find the original story in the Related Stories section of this article.

Sadie Elledge says a note left on a receipt is "racist" and "disrespectful." Her grandfather, an attorney in Harrisonburg who specializes in immigration, says the outpouring of support for his granddaughter is what he hoped for after posting a picture of the receipt on social media.

"For Sadie to know that she's a valuable person and that she should never apologize for who she is or where she comes from or what she looks like," said John Elledge.

In five days, Sadie has read thousands of words of support, sympathy and personal stories. One, from Indiana, came with a $100 bill inside.

"It makes me feel good because they don't even know me, like they are complete strangers to me and they support me even though they have no idea who I am, they just know my story," she said.

Flowers, a makeover offer from a model and even a full ride scholarship to Blue Ridge Community College are just some of the things Sadie has been offered.

Sadie said she wasn't expecting this strong of a response. She plans to keep the letters for inspiration, but the money is going toward helping Latino youths in the community. Her grandfather is donating the money to New Bridges Immigrant Resource Center in Harrisonburg, as well as toward scholarships for Hispanic students.

"I hope folks will think twice before expressing nasty and hurtful sentiments like that," he said.


WHSV has attempted to reach out multiple times to the woman Sadie's family has identified as signing the receipt. She denies any involvement. WHSV has chosen, from the beginning, to blur her face and her name on the receipt, and will continue to do so.