My husband and I visit a restaurant every few months which employs the most amazing woman. Laurie is her name and she always takes time to catch up with us and to talk to our little guy. She treats us as though we're close friends even though we only see her once in a blue moon.

Laurie is a single mom who used to work for the school system as a linguist. She would work with kids who came to America from other countries and didn't know English, patiently teaching them our language. And then cutbacks pushed her out of her job. Laurie is a woman who speaks half a dozen languages fluently, holds several college degrees and is a ray of sunshine. To provide for herself and her son, Laurie turned to waiting tables.

Jay and I have always left Laurie a tip bigger than our actual bill because we're so impressed with her work ethic and personality. The last time we visited the restaurant and requested Laurie to be our server, we were told she was unavailable. Laurie had been promoted to manager and our hearts swelled to see things finally turning around for this amazing woman.

A retired businessman in Louisville, Kentucky, is also on a crusade to help out hardworking people in the service industry. Instead of giving servers and delivery drivers the recommended 15 to 20%, Russ Johnson gives 50%.

Johnson told Market Watch that he likes to put money in the hands of people on the low end of the scale and who are trying to work their way up the ladder, admitting that tipping big makes him feel good.

Johnson doesn't just tip restaurant personal. He also opens his wallet wide for parking lot attendants, toll takers, and grocery store clerks and others. Johnson is brightening the days and lives of so many that most take for granted.