Something stirred in 9-year-old Chloe Gallegos’s little heart when she saw a social media video of a thief stealing a tip jar at a Texas donut shop.
So, she decided to right the wrong.
Andy Chhong, longtime owner of Daylight Donuts in Alvin, Texas uploaded a video to Facebook of a tip jar thief caught in the act after hours. And it just didn’t sit right with Chloe, a frequent Daylight Donuts customer. She vowed to replace Chhong’s stolen bills with her own tooth fairy money.
“One of my employees realized that the money was empty in the tip jar and then we saw the video,” Chhong tells PEOPLE.
But Chhong never expected to receive a handwritten note from the young customer on the day he posted the video.
“Dear Donut Man,” started the letter. “My mom showed me the video of your money getting stolen. I’m sorry that happened. This is my tooth fairy money. Sorry that happened, Chloe.”
Next to the child’s scrawl note was $4.
“I took a picture of the note and I wrote to one of the guys that I know who creates discussion pages,” shares Chhong, who moved from Massachusetts to Texas to open his shop in 2009. “I texted the note to him and he found out the note was from his daughter!”
Gallego’s father recognized his daughter’s handwriting and it turn’s out she’s a big fan of Chhong’s shop.
“I didn’t know her by name, but Chloe likes my donut shop, she comes in 2 or 3 times a week,” shares Chhong, saying that Gallego often stops in the morning before school with her mother.
As a reward, the store owner says that he’s decided to let Chloe have anything in the shop—for life. (And as long as he’s the owner.)
Chloe’s act of kindness even inspired Chhong not to press charges against the thief. “I decided to give her a second chance,” he says.
“Money doesn’t mean anything. It’s about love and caring,” the donut shop owner reflects. “I believe in second chances. The best way to show the world is to care for another. We’re in this together.”
• With reporting by CHRISTINE LEE