EDGEWATER, New Jersey -- Krista Stucchio, a New Jersey photographer and food blogger, is using her social media platform for a great cause.
Stucchio's Instagram page @hashtagfoodpic, created in 2013 to document what she was cooking in college, is now being used by Stucchio to collect donations and surprise servers with huge tips.
"My Venmo Challenge was something I discovered on TikTok. I decided to ask my followers to Venmo me whatever they could so that I could surprise a server with a big tip, never expecting it to be this successful," said Stucchio.
Stucchio's call for generosity has brought her social media followers together in a time of great need for employees in the restaurant and service industry.
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"I feel like it is very personal to me, to be able to give back to servers because I know so many myself and I have been one myself, so I know it's much appreciated," said Stucchio.
Her first call for donations, a few weeks back, was announced on her Instagram stories.
In 8 hours, she collected $153 in donations, which was added to the tip her group was already giving the server.
The latest surprise took place at The Yacht Club in Edgewater, New Jersey, where Stucchio surprised her server Raquel Rodriguez with a tip of $472.
"Tips is what puts money in our pockets so that truly means a lot. I make that amount in three days, it takes a while, so it means a lot," said Rodriguez.
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Stucchio hopes that by publicizing her Venmo challenge she can inspire others to join the movement and help out the service industry as much as they can.
"A lot of the times they don't get treated right or don't get tipped well, so being able to over tip is a great feeling," Stucchio said.
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Social media influencer shocks waiter with $472 tip in Venmo Challenge