When Aaron Collins died, he left his family with one final, peculiar request: "Leave an awesome tip (and I don't mean 25%. I mean $500 on a f*cking pizza) for a waiter or waitress."
Over a year later, Aaron, who passed away at age 30 of an apparent suicide, has had his wish fulfilled — over 20 times. Aaron's brother Seth has been traveling and giving $500 to restaurant servers across the country to fulfill his brother's dying wish. He aims to reach all 50 states and document his experiences along the way.
"He left us a will full of his personality," Seth Collins wrote on a memorial page.
"Aaron was generous in life, and that's probably why he didn't have the money to do this himself. He just accepted that if someone needed help, he would help them."
"Are you serious? Are you kidding me?" asks a stunned waitress in the above video.
"That's what he wanted. Yeah, and if people keep donating, we will keep giving away $500," says Seth.
"I'm going to be telling this story the rest of my life," says the unsuspecting waitress.
After this video of Seth's first encounter with a waitress at a pizza joint went viral, the family's donation page flooded with contributions from supporters around the world. The family says they have received money from people as far away as Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands.
"People ended up donating up to now over $60,000," Seth told NPR's Weekend Edition."It only seemed fair once I started thinking about that to try to give back to as many places as I could."
Seth has given a hefty tip nearly every week for almost a year. Fans can follow the journey at Aaron's Last Wish, as Seth pays tribute to his brother and documents the reactions of lucky waiters and waitresses in various restaurants across the nation.
"He had always been a generous tipper," says Seth of his late brother. "My mom had just told me a story that even when he was young, when he just had an allowance and no job, is he saw that they didn't leave what he considered a generous tip. He would take a couple dollars of his own money and toss that on the table to help bolster the amount of the tip."