The past year and change seem like it has been filled with darkness and unpleasant moments. It's almost as drama, sadness, and fear increased with the flip of every month on the calendar.

Despite all the evil, negativity, and division that seems to be a perfect description of society, there are moments that prove all hope is not lost.

Get our free mobile app

There has been a trend over the past few years in Northern Illinois where a group of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances plan a special trip to a diner or restaurant to surprise a server with what could be a life-changing monetary tip.

Though not all little details behind this year haven't been fully reviewed, another group of strangers continued the tradition this year, surprising a more-than-deserving waitress at a small diner in Machesney Park, Illinois.

Google Street View
Google Street View
loading...

Sabrina Bridges, who works at Gill's Diner, says one of the men responsible for this generous act asked another waitress if she know of anyone who was having a hard time. That's when he was told Tracey Cordonnier's story.

Tracey works there (Gill's Diner) as a part-time server. Her husband has esophagus cancer and liver and last Tuesday (doctors) found cancer in his brain. He had brain surgery Wednesday.

How did they pull it off?

Google Street View
Google Street View
loading...

Sabrina Bridges told me the only job she had to do was make sure Tracey showed up at work to take what she thought was just a really big party. Sabrina and another server helped her take the party while two other servers took the rest of the restaurant.

The party came in as a group, ate, paid their bill, and left her the $3,000 tip hoping it would help Tracey and her family.

They have no idea how much it did with her missing tons of work and him not being able to work. It changed her world at least for a couple of months.

Though it took a team to make this happen, Sabrina says the credit goes to Joe Collins and David Knowlton for putting it together.

This group proved how much love still exists in the world. They also proved, even if only for a moment, we collectively contribute just a little extra it can mean the world to just one person.

They have completely changed her course for the next couple months!!!! Was so awesome to see!!!

How can we change the world? A whole lot of little acts of kindness.

The 25 Very Best Small-Town Illinois Restaurants

Looking for a great meal at a small-town restaurant in Illinois? Here are 25 of the very best. 

Rockford's 25 Best Pizza Places for 2021

If you're looking for good pizza in the Rockford area, you've come to the right spot.