Nurse picks up diner tab, 46 others pay it forward

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BARRE, Vt. – On a chilly morning in Barre, Vermont, a random act of kindness warmed the hearts of strangers and spurred another — and another after that.

Kathleen Connors stopped at L&M Diner on Saturday after a 12-hour overnight shift at Central Vermont Medical Center, where she works as a surgical nurse.

“She got her usual breakfast,” L&M manager Tayler Merriam told CNN. “Hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, a plain pancake and table syrup.”

Connors got up to pay her bill but instead of paying for just herself, she footed the bill for a nearby pair who appeared to be father and son, whom she didn’t know.

“I was looking around aimlessly and I had a pocket full of bingo winnings,” Connors said. “It’s nice to see a family come together on the weekend.”

After paying $40 for both meals, she got in her truck and went home without a thought.

What she didn’t know was that her generosity would be repeated — 46 times — in the span of 6 hours.

“It was a shocker,” Merriam said, “It started at 7:30 in the morning and lasted until 10 (minutes) after 2, and we close at 3.”

L&M Diner is a relatively small establishment. Housing just 13 booths and 11 seats at the counter, it’s the type of joint that attracts local regulars.

Connors is a regular, and she’s known around Barre for her “bubbly” personality and easygoing nature, according to Merriam.

“I see a lot of people in the restaurant business and she’s one of those people you can carry on a conversation with,” Merriam said.

Connors moved to Vermont 10 months ago after living in Massachusetts for the majority of her life.

She stops at L&M Diner about twice a week after her shifts at the hospital, just like she did Saturday.

“This is my way of showing my appreciation for Vermont. I love Vermont and I couldn’t be happier. I love where I work, I love where I live and I love the people around me,” Connors told CNN affiliate WCAX.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.