Waitress Who Received Anti-Gay Note Donates Tips to Veteran Organization
Last week, Dayna Morales, an out waitress and a former Marine, made national headlines when she revealed that a family she served left her an anti-gay note in lieu of a tip. Morales says customers and strangers have been giving her generous tips since the incident but the waitress says she will donate the money to the Wounded Warrior Project, NJ.com reports.
Morales, who works at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., says that a family condemned her for her "gay lifestyle" and instead of leaving a tip on a $93 bill, wrote a horrible note: "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I don't agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life."
"NEVER in a million years did I think this would happen," Morales wrote in an email to the gay blog Have A Gay Day. "Not only was it a family with two kids, but as I introduce myself and tell them my name is Dayna - the mom proceeds to look at me and say 'oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!'
Since the incident, Morales says she has been overwhelmed by support from strangers who collectively gave her more than $2,000. One gay couple drove from the Bronx, N.Y., to donate $20 each. But the waitress plans to donate all the money she's received to the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps severely wounded veterans. Morales' employer will match every donation.
"I never really expected or imagined this could happen," Morales told NJ.com on Saturday.
"My family and I drove all the way out here to show Dayna our support," Jennie Saldana, Morales' partner, said. "People shouldn't assume how others live. Being a mother and looking the way I do, I'm speechless."
Morales said that she would serve the family that wrote the note if they ever came back to the restaurant. The general manager of Gallop Asian Bistro, Byron Lapola, doesn't feel the same, however.
"Honestly, I would ask them to leave," Lapola said.
Morales said that everyone at the restaurant is like a "big family, we all have each other's backs."
"(My co-workers) were offended on my behalf, and they didn't take it lightly," she told NJ.com.