A Starbucks barista received the surprise of a lifetime when he was chosen as the recipient of a random kind act by a TikToker.
In the viral TikTok, which now has over 40.6 million views, Perri Saenz pulls up through a Starbucks drive-thru with a friend. But instead of putting in their orders, she asked the employee working at the window, “What is your dream in life?”
The barista, whose name tag reads “Manny,” said he was trying to get a car for himself. Perri then asked how much getting one would cost, and he responded with “$1,000.”
“What’s something you’re struggling with?” Perri asked him, and that’s when Manny started to open up. He revealed that he was struggling with depression.
“I have depression I’m currently fighting with,” he said.
“Well, we might see you around,” Perri replied before driving away.
The video then cuts to Perri and her friend going to the store and buying a bouquet of red roses, a tiny wooden chest box, and a toy car for Manny.
When they returned to the car, Perri pulled out $1,000 in cash and tucked it into the toy car’s packaging.
“We’re about to surprise Manny with $1000, so he can get a car,” Perri said in the video. “I can’t wait to see his reaction.”
She placed the toy car inside the wooden chest and drove off to the coffee shop.
Upon returning to the window, Perri told Manny: “We were really inspired by your story, and we wanted to get you a little something.”
She first gave him the bouquet of roses, which the Starbucks employee happily took.
“Thank you so much. I’ve never gotten flowers before,” Manny said with a smile.
“We have one more thing,” Perri continued before handing him the wooden chest.
Manny opens the chest and discovers the toy car with the money.
“It’s $1,000 so you can get a new car,” Perri told Manny, the unexpected act of kindness causing him to burst into tears of gratitude.
Manny thanked her for the generous gift before opening up further.
“This morning, actually, I had su*cidal thoughts, and I didn’t feel like waking up,” he said.
And Perri responded with love and encouragement.
“This is just a sign from God that you’re meant to be here and that you’re so loved,” she told him while holding his hand in hers. “Light will shine on your face again.”
Thousands of TikTok users flocked to the comments to share their reactions to the video.
“You just saved a life. Kindness is key guys.”
“From someone who battled depression & anxiety. Thank you for fighting every day. I promise there’s better days.”
“Kindness is so key, you never know what people are going through.”
Perri managed to pull off this surprise with the help of influencer Charlie Rocket, who runs the charity Dream Machine Foundation. The group gave Manny the first $1,000 to help him get a new car before arranging a fundraiser so he could get an even better one.
The campaign raised over $38,572, surpassing the original target of $15,000.
“He takes the bus to work everyday, because he doesn’t have the financial means to afford a car,” it says on the donation website. “We started out the donations by giving him $1,000, but to get a good car we set a goal to raise him $10,000.”
Click on the video below to see the touching moment Manny received his surprise gift.
@charlie Wow this made me cry. You never know what someone is going through 🥺❤️ #fypp #positivity #starbucks ♬ Lights Are On – Tom Rosenthal
***Did you enjoy our feel-good and positive story? You can help support our site by simply SUBSCRIBING and sharing our stories with your friends and family.