A North Carolina waitress has received praise online after she helped out a struggling mom.
She Was Shocked By The Kind Gesture
Courtney Pedigo was at the Olive Garden restaurant in Greensboro with her young daughter, Harlynn on Oct 1. The mom was trying to enjoy her meal with her stepmother and a few friends – but her little girl “wouldn’t sit still.”
“It was getting to be her bedtime and I could tell it wasn’t gonna be a good sit-down meal,” Courtney, 24, told PEOPLE. “I tried occupying her with some movies on my phone, I tried holding her. She was just getting really fussy and whiny. I was just getting overwhelmed. I knew it was time to go out to the car.”
Reluctantly, Courtney found her waitress, Nianni Rudder, and politely asked for a to-go box. But Nianni would not here of it.“[Nianni] said, ‘No, you’re gonna go over there and eat your dinner. I’ll be there in just a second to play with her,” Courtney recalled.
Moments later Nianni returned to Courtney’s table with food and ice cream. “She sat there and fed [Harlynn] some ice cream and was wiping her hands and her face. She talked to my family and opened up a bit about herself. It was pretty cool. I was just really flustered and overwhelmed and she was a breath of fresh air.”
Courtney says she was “shocked” by Nianni’s sweet act.
They Are Now Family
“Everyone at the table was like, ‘Wow! She didn’t have to do this,” Courtney gushed. “She chose to sit there with my family and occupy my baby so I could eat … I’m a single mom and it’s hard sometimes. She calmed me, a total stranger just calmed me down.”
Touched by Nianni’s sweet gesture, Courtney shared a photo of Rudder and Harlynn on Facebook.
Social media users were also as touched – with the post gaining more than 10,000 “likes.” But an overwhelmed Nianni wrote in a Facebook post of her own, that she only did what she hoped others would do for her.
“I did what I would want for someone to do for me if I was in that situation,” Nianni wrote. “People need to be more compassionate with one another. Anyone with a heart would have done the same.”
The great thing is that now Courtney and Nianni are now firm friends. “She said to me the other day, ‘We’re family now,’” Courtney said of Nianni. “We’re friends on Facebook, so she’ll message or I’ll message her to see how things are going. Her and I, we’re gonna keep in touch, definitely.”