Big Fat Tip #52 is the second drop in a series of five that we handed out on December 20, 2023. The Big Fat Tip® celebrated its fifth anniversary of being an official organization on that day, and we commemorated the event by giving out a surprise $1,000 tip for each year. We gave these to randomly selected businesses in Lakeland, Florida, close to our headquarters address, which is in the downtown Catapult business incubator.

Eric Vaden, a longtime supporter of our organization, paid for all five tips. Eric owns a GEICO agency in Boston, Massachusetts. He is quite the entrepreneur and recently bought the license to ten pet grooming businesses called Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique – Needham. Tragically, one of his new team members, Eden Beck, died in a car accident on December 10, 2023. Eric wanted to honor Eden’s life through these random acts of kindness. While grateful for his support and generous gift, our hearts go out to Eden’s family and friends. A tribute to her is at the end of the five videos.

Many people don’t realize that the volunteers who help hand out these tips have an interesting or touching story, too. We used to verbally share these stories with donors, recipients, and fans. Recently, we began including some of the back stories about the volunteers in our social posts and discovered the viewers appreciated learning more about them. So, we will continue having those where appropriate. Sometimes, the volunteers are going through deep depression: they lost a loved one or their job or are struggling with serious health issues. Sometimes, they have family living in war-torn parts of the world and desperately need to experience something positive. Those stories are intensely private and are not included for public consumption. Still, for you, the viewer, please understand that these tips are about spreading positive energy for the giver of the tip just as much as the ones receiving them.

April, our volunteer for this tip, has supported our organization and asked if she could assist with a drop. Why? Because the news is filled with negative stories, and our social media feeds are filled with nonsense and negativity. She wanted to experience something good, pure, and positive. We were happy to accommodate her.