It seemed like just any other Tuesday morning when Kiara West and her young family headed over to the Chaska Perkins for a breakfast meal.
Her husband Daniel had just finished a long night shift and decided some special family time was needed with their 1-year-old son, Kidan.
They ordered their usual grub, Kidan’s favorite being smoked sausage and eggs. A man in the booth next to them was gearing up to leave and put on his jacket when Kidan made an unusual offer.
“My son noticed him, so he picked up his sausage and then offered it to him and the man just started laughing. I looked over and Kidan was just speaking gibberish and having this sausage out with his hand, like extending it to him,” Kiara West said.
“‘It’s okay buddy, I just ate. Why don’t you eat it?’” she remembers the man saying in return.
But Kidan was steadfast in his donation, waiting for the man to accept before he wished the boy a good day and was off.
“He’s always been such a sharer, but when it comes to food he doesn’t like to share. So it was really surprising,” Kiara West said of her son. “He really loves smoked sausage.”
While the family continued their meal, waitress Morgan Schroedle gave the man his ticket up front.
And he asked for the family’s ticket, too.
“He was like, ‘I want to pay,’” Schroedle said. “It was really nice. I felt really thankful for his generosity and I thanked him for his kindness.”
When Schroedle brought the news back to the family’s table, Kiara West nearly cried.
“It just made us really happy because we have been struggling with food, but we really wanted to do it for ourselves. The fact this man did it for us and he didn’t know our situation really helped us out,” Kiara West said. “My husband is like, ‘Do you think he’s still here?’ and was trying to run out to the parking lot.”
Each little bit of money saved gets the family closer to buying their own home, she said. Daniel’s employer recently said he could no longer work overtime, which was helpful additional income the family won’t see for the time being.
“We’re young parents, and both me and my husband have come from always struggling so we wanted to change that for our son. So we’ve been doing our best to save as much money so we can give him the best things,” West said.
She’s been living in Chaska since she was 4 years old and says she doesn’t always see such warmth from folks around town.
“I’ve encountered, sadly, a lot of racism. Me and my husband are an interracial couple and I have a mixed baby, half Mexican and half white. So it was really nice to see someone appreciate our family,” West said, tearing up. “I want to say thank you to him for just seeing us as a loving family who you wanted to do something kind for us, and we appreciate it.”
Schroedle has been working at Perkins since August and hadn’t served the man before, nor had she seen someone pay for another’s meal. But it was only a matter of days before another gentleman offered to pick up the bill for a few tables.
“I love to see people loving others,” she said.
While Kidan’s smoked sausage may not sound like a classic Thanksgiving, mashed-potato-turkey-leg meal, it was one full of thanks and full of giving.