Josh Gibson and Kyle Oreffice didn’t even know each other one month ago, but now the pair are YouTube stars thanks to their “pay it forward” mission.
Gibson, 25, and Oreffice, 18, a high school senior, are the two founders of GiveBackFilms, a YouTube channel they created to inspire the world one video at a time.
In their latest video, posted Monday, the two, along with a friend of Oreffice’s, stopped for a quick bite to eat at an IHOP restaurant in Salt Lake City. It wasn’t just the French toast and pancakes they were there for, however.
When their roughly $10 check arrived, the three left their waitress a $200 tip. The video shows the waitress’s priceless reaction as she first tells them she can’t accept the money and then is almost too shocked for words.
“She was really awesome and a really good waitress too,” Gibson told GoodMorningAmerica.com, explaining that they picked that IHOP at random and “got lucky with a really nice lady.”
The surprise turned on Gibson, Oreffice and their friend when they talked to the waitress, who was not identified, afterward to explain that they were taping her for their GiveBackFilms channel.
The waitress, still in shock from the tip, told them she had been working at the restaurant for five years to provide for her two children — a 5-year-old and a 9-month-old.
Her co-worker chimed in that the waiters were only paid $2 per hour and are often stiffed by customers who don’t leave any tip at all.
Gibson and Oreffice, who met through a mutual friend who is also active on YouTube, said that’s exactly why they started their channel, which features a new video each Monday of the pair “paying it forward” in some way.
“We think it’s exciting to see the power of YouTube and to see how, when people watch a video, they can feel the cool feeling that people get from helping others,” said Gibson, of Provo, Utah. “So, hopefull,y the next time they’re at Denny’s or somewhere they’ll tip a little more or do something for others.”
The pair are currently funding their venture — including the $200 tip — out of their own pockets but hope to start a fundraising page online soon so they can expand their reach and help even more people.
“We’ve gotten lots of messages on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube of people being inspired by our videos to pay it forward themselves,” said Oreffice, a high school senior in Atlanta. “It’s been really cool.”