$500 tip left at Ashland diner helps children in Uganda go to school

Generous tip left at Ashland diner helps kids go to school in Uganda

ASHLAND - A pair of restaurant owners in Ashland are looking for a group of diners who dropped a $500 tip shortly before the new year. It turns out that money sent more than 20 kids to school in Uganda, and the customers don't even know it.

"I wish I just got something, but I wanted to say thank you so much," said Norah Zoummar, owner of 33 All American Diner.

Norah and her husband Peter own the diner that sits in a strip mall in Ashland. Norah is an orphan from a small village in Uganda. She says the town has tens of thousands of people, but the majority of the population lives under the poverty line. It takes just $20 to send a child to school for the year, but many can't afford it.

"They don't have a dollar. It's a dollar a day to live, but they don't have $.80," explains Norah.

In 2019, they started sending all of her tip money to children to go to school in her hometown. Shortly before New Years Day, that group came to eat.

33 All American Diner in Ashland CBS Boston

"They asked if I had children. I said just one child," Norah said. "They are like OK, so I didn't have lot of time to talk to them. When they left, they said, 'We left you something extra for your child.' I was like, 'Oh thank you.' I didn't look at the tip. I put it in my pocket."

"She was shaking. She was getting a little emotional. I was like what happened? What is wrong? She said these ladies, they left all of this money," said Peter. "They were out the door. I don't think we have seen them again."

"When I opened the tip, I was like, 'Oh my goodness!' I could not believe it! I was crying the whole time. These people have no idea what they did for the foundation," said Norah. "I have no idea who they are. I don't know. I could just cry seeing them. I sent a lot of children to school this time, about 20 of them."

All of their tip money goes to fund their non-profit called the Neshlyn Children's Foundation. Twenty percent of their gift card sales also go toward the cause. Besides helping kids go to school, the overall goal is to eventually open a school in Uganda for the children in her hometown.

"A lot of them need help because if they don't go to school, what are they going to turn out to be? They don't have a future," said Norah.

"If they kids don't go to school, they will be doing housework, or be put to work out in the fields, so their future is limited from the get go," said Peter.

Now they are hoping someone in the dining group comes forward, so they can thank them. 

Read more

We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.