Comedian Robyn Schall Surprises Waitstaff at New York City Bar with $13,000: 'I Just Know They're Hurting'

The comedian asked her followers to donate money so she could give a "giant pandemic Valentine" to those in need

A New York comedian is doing her part to spread joy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past week, Robyn Schall asked her fans to donate money so she could surprise workers in the restaurant industry who may be struggling financially due to COVID-19.

"As a New Yorker when you walk down the street and you see these restaurants starting to ford off, and it just hurts personally," she told CNN. "I just know they're hurting, so I felt it was like who I want to help."

On Feb. 11, Schall visited Lily's Cocktail and Wine in New York City to hand out the $13,000 raised by her social media followers.

The comedian live-streamed her act of kindness on Instagram, in which she surprised her waitress with $7,000, the bartender with $2,000, and gave $2,000 to each of the two cooks working that night.

"I was just blown away with how many people started giving $1, $2, $5 whatever you could think to give, and it was just unbelievable," Schall told CNN. "It felt like such a great sense of like community and just people from around the world wanting to do an act of kindness."

In the clip, the waitstaff appear shocked and grateful when receiving their checks, one of the cooks sharing, "I really needed this."

comedian tips server
Robyn Schall/Instagram

As more of Schall's fans continued to donate, she used the remaining money to pay for the other couple at the restaurant and bring $100 to Big Nick's Pizzeria around the corner.

"My amazing fans came together & helped give unsuspecting people a giant pandemic valentine. I am grateful to be the one that handed over the checks but the credit must go to the thousands of people who donated without knowing where or who we would give it to. You guys are the best and I'm so thankful you follow me and trusted me with this!!!!!" Schall wrote on Instagram.

Schall continued her kind gesture on Sunday, bringing another $1,000 to NYC bakery Make My Cake after receiving more donations from her fans.

"After the other night my followers kept donating to my Venmo. There was $893," she explained. "This morning after going to @makemycakenyc I feel inlove with the cupcakes and Roselen who was working there."

"I took the money my followers donated, I rounded up and went back to gift your donations half to the Bakery and half to Roselen!! To my followers you have made this the best freakin Valentine's Day ever!!!" she shared.

In the heartwarming clip, the owner and employee at the bakery are overwhelmed by Schall's "sweet gesture."

"This helps a lot," the owner said in the clip. "We have been pushing through this pandemic and I thank you."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles