“Shock & Claus” at a local diner helps out a young woman

It’s the season of giving, and one server at Deaner’s Diner received a very generous tip.
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 9:42 PM CST
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s the season of giving, and one server at Deaner’s Diner received a very generous tip.

Kayley Schaeffer says her Tuesday morning started pretty normal. She works at Deaner’s Diner and picked up a shift to help out. She was about to go on her break when a group of 7 ladies came in….

“We had asked her to come back a couple times and she’s probably like oh my gosh these guys are so annoying,” says one of the “Claus’s” Kjirsten Wood.

What Schaeffer didn’t know is most of the 7 women are small business owners, and the point of their lunch was to do, what they called, a “Shock and Claus”. The point is, the person being “shocked” doesn’t know until the end. In this case, the 7 women each put in $100 to give to their server.

“She was telling us a little bit about her story and we were all just looking around at the table at each other like don’t cry. She had no idea what was happening,” says another “Claus” Ashley Mikkelson.

The women had planned to do this regardless of who their server was, but the money couldn’t have gone to someone more worthy. After a breakup, the 19-year old just had to move into a new place. She recently lost her mom and took in her younger sister, who suffers from several health problems.

“There are good people still, and there are many of them. They come in ways you would never expect. This was 100% one of those,” says Schaeffer.

So the tip of $700 means the world.

“Finally back up on my feet. I’m okay going to the grocery store and looking at milk and saying oh i don’t have to buy a half gallon, i can afford to buy a full gallon,” says the 19-year old.

As she talked with the group, she found they all had a lot in common. Some even knew her mom.

“Wait a second, I wasn’t even supposed to wait on you. Wait a second, you knew my mom? It wasn’t a coincidence, it was meant to be. I was meant to meet them,” says Schaeffer.

“I think she touched us more than we touched her. A dollar amount meant nothing to us. I don’t have words,” says Mikkelson.

Kayley says she now plans on getting a group of friends together to be “Claus’s” and shock someone else.

“After this, it shows how much it can change someone’s life,” says Schaeffer.

“If you can’t do it financially, there’s other ways. Especially this time of year. The soup kitchens, go shovel your elderly neighbors driveway, hold the door for someone. There’s so many different things,” says Wood and Mikkelson.

The group of women said they’re glad the money went to someone as great as Kayley.

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