‘It’s a big deal:’ Single mother in Michigan receives $2,020 tip on $23 bill ahead of new year

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DETROIT, Mich. (WTNH) — Danielle Franzoni, a single mother living in Michigan, said she received a life-changing tip for the new year: $2,020.

Franzoni, who works at Thunder Bay River Restaurant, said she got the big tip on a $23.33 bill.

“I’m going to build a future because of this,” she told WXYZ. “My kids have a future and I have a home. It’s a big deal. It’s a really big deal.”

She said the message on the receipt brought her to tears.

“They wrote on the receipt ‘Happy New Year Danielle 2020 challenge.’ I cried. I started crying and went right to my manager and asked if this was real. I’m still in complete shock. That doesn’t happen to people like me. I’m a recovering addict and I’m a Detroit native, born and raised. I moved up here to Alpena to start over and get sober.”

The mother of three — and one more on the way — said she’s been clean two years after an addiction to opioids.

She moved last year with nothing but the clothes on her back and ending up in a homeless shelter before getting her current job.

“It’s a blessing,” she said. “I’m trying to bring my kids home. I’m trying to do right, and I’m a server; I don’t make great money. I moved into my own house today. That was able to happen. I did that today. They [tippers] gave my kids a life that they don’t even know that they didn’t have. And I have a chance.”

Franzoni said she never got to thank the pair that tipped her and hopes they know just how much they’ve helped her.

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