While we usually give tips in the form of cash, this server received one in 2015 so generous, that it changed his life dramatically.
Brian Maixner works as a server at a little restaurant in Wichita, Kansas called Doo-Dah Diner. Its owner, Timirie Shibley, gave it that name after she discovered that “doo-dah” is a term used for the city’s laidback and playful residents.
The diner has been serving their customers not just with great food made from scratch, but also with plenty of good vibes.
“We’ve always had an atmosphere where other customers have bought each other’s meals as a surprise. We have really supported this environment of helping others. We are a happy destination,” Timirie told PEOPLE.
If Brian has ever served you, you’d know he’s one of those responsible for the cheerful atmosphere in the restaurant. Day by day, the server delights customers with his kind and talkative nature. He’s always so happy that you’d never know he has good reason not to smile at all.
The single father has always suffered from dental issues since he was little. He couldn’t afford treatments when he was young, and over the last half-dozen years, he’s had several missing teeth and painful mouth infections. Brian is working hard to save up money for dental insurance, but he couldn’t seem to reach the amount he needed.
In 2015, during one busy weekend morning, an attorney from Oklahoma named Fred Boettcher went into the diner. During his meal, he asked to speak with Timirie. He told her that Brian had been a fantastic server, but he noticed that he had some problems in his teeth. Upon hearing this, Timirie’s heart sank – she knew this day was coming.
“When I hired Brian I wondered what I would do if a customer ked twas to address the issue of his dental problems and how they were uncomfortable with it. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to answer that, so when Fred came up to me, that’s where I thought this was going,” she said.
But as it turns out, the customer didn’t approach her to complain; instead, he came to offer help!
Fred had suffered from dental problems himself as a young boy, and he asked Timirie if he could provide Brian with a full dental makeover. The attorney said that he had been blessed in life, and he wanted to share his good fortunes with those who need it.
Of course, Timirie quickly agreed, and she passed on the good news to its recipient.
“I am a guy, and I am not scared to admit it, I cried a little bit,” Brian recalled.
After being fitted with a set of dentures, Brian greeted customers at Doo-Dah with an even bigger smile! Brian had to heal for eight months before returning to Ponca City, Oklahoma, to get his permanent dental implants. But even with his temporary fixtures, he’s already feeling the difference with the smile he has.
“My friends on Facebook went through the roof,” Brian said about his incredible transformation. “I’ve been getting a lot of people stopping me in public.”
Fred shelled out an estimated $25,000 for the dental treatment.
“No matter what religion you might be or whether you even believe in an afterlife, the way to be satisfied in your life is to be kind to everybody and be as generous as you possibly can be,” the generous donor told KWCH.
As Brian’s story started going viral, Timirie noticed a common denominator among the comments it got from people on the internet.
“The most common comment we’ve seen from people online, is that this story has restored their faith in mankind,” she said. “Everybody seems so refreshed to have this type of story show up. It’s a story everybody likes to share.”
If there is one thing that Brian and Timirie want people to takeaway from this story, it’s to always be kind.
“It doesn’t have to be a $25,000 dental makeover. It can be opening the door for somebody, or carrying their groceries,” she said.
“Just kill ’em with kindness,” Brian added. “That’s what I’m going to do.”
Sadly, Fred passed away on June 9, 2019, but the impact of his kind act shall remain forever in Brian’s smile and in people’s hearts.
Watch the video below to learn more about Brian’s incredible transformation story.