While dining at a restaurant, the student – whose name wasn't made public – left a $3,000 tip in honor of his former teacher Richard Specht, according to My Fox Chicago.
"Thank you for your kindness and humility," it said on the back of the receipt. "My teacher in middle school had such a difficult experience a few years ago which has sparked me to do this. My only requirements are:
1) Go to ReesSpechtLife.com and learn!
2) Don't let "Pay it forward" end with you.
3) Since it's about the idea and not about you, or me, if you decide to share this, don't use either of our names!"
As for that difficult experience, Richard and his wife Samantha lost their young son during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when the 22-month-old drowned in a pond near their home. They went on to start a foundation called Reespecht Life, named after their late son Reese, which is dedicated to "cultivating kindness throughout the world." Since then, the organization has sparked over 100,000 acts of kindness, according to their sales of "pay it forward cards" that come with each act a person agrees to do, the outlet reported.
Some of those acts include buying someone a cup of coffee, raking a neighbor's leaves or checking up on a sick friend. Still, Richard hadn't seen anything like the $3,000 tip gesture since they started their mission. "My mouth sat agape as I stared at the picture," he wrote in his blog about the incident. "I literally did a double, even triple take."
To learn more and help with the Specht family's cause, you can order "pay it forward" cards from their website, and go to their Facebook page.