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'See People Who Aren't Being Seen': Christian Speaker and His Followers Stun 3 Airport Workers with $35,000 Tips

Screenshot via Carlos Whittaker Instagram
Screenshot via Carlos Whittaker Instagram

Imagine showing up to work on a Friday morning and having a stranger approach you and tell you he wants to bless you with $4,000–no strings attached.

That was a reality for three Atlanta airport employees, last Friday. 

Phyllis, Brandon, and Josh were shocked when author and speaker Carlos Whittaker came up to them and told him he was about to give them the biggest tip of their lives.

"We can change that person's life. I'm just going to find some strangers, see them, and bless them," Whittaker told his Instagram followers. "I'm going to bless them for the sake of being alive."

"I see people that aren't being seen and I want to see them," he explained later in the video.

Whittaker raised the money by asking his 250,000 Instagram followers to donate to the virtual tip jar. He initially raised $12,000 in a few hours, but 24 hours later, he'd raised $105,000 total allowing him to give all three of the Atlanta employees $35,000 each.

Phyllis, Brandon, and Josh were the grateful recipients of Carlos' kindness. 

"Praise God," Phyllis rejoiced. "It's beautiful."

"That will help us so much," Josh said. "I can get my parents a house. I will be able to take care of my family and the people I care about."

Josh, who manages both Phyllis and Brandon, explained the janitorial staff at the airport gets paid every two weeks. 

"I would be lucky if I bring home every two weeks, 800 dollars. That's what I've been living and taking care of people off of," he said.


Whittaker joined CBN's Faith Nation to talk about the act of kindness, saying he was simply obeying God.

"I just stopped and thought to myself, these people are working so hard. There were only three of them working in the food court and they were cleaning up everyone's food and no one was paying attention to them." 

"I thought they need to be seen. And I just wanted to see them. I didn't know if it was going to be 100 bucks each, or 1,000 bucks each. Definitely didn't think it was $35,000 each but I just felt Holy Spirit saying 'These are the ones, go bless them,'" he explained.    

Whittaker said the money would be life-changing for Josh, Brandon, and Phyllis.

"What we actually raised for them each is a year and a half of their salary," the Human Hope podcast host explained. "There's a couple problems there because nobody needs to be getting paid that little money, first of all. But I am grateful that we are able to give them a year and a half of their salary."

He added that Phyllis has been trying to break the cycle of poverty and move out of her section 8 housing. 

"We've been able to help her with that," Whittaker explained. 

As CBN News reported, Whittaker and his Instagram followers "tipped" an Atlanta airport pianist named Tonee $55,000, last year.

The 66-year-old musician recently died after suffering from kidney disease, but told Whitaker he'd undergo dialysis "every night for nine hours" before showing up at the airport every day to tap out jazzy melodies on the piano.

Whittaker says his message is the same no matter the situation that recipients find themselves. 

"I look at them and say you are chosen, you are loved, you are important, and you are seen," he said. "As I travel around, that is all I want to help people do is to help see people."

The How to Human author explains it's about helping people.

"It was three things, be human, see humans, and free humans," Whittaker shared. "That's all we need to be doing on a daily basis...it's changing their lives."

He explained that Brandon, Josh, and Phyllis now want to do this for others.

"When you do this for somebody–it pays forward," he added. 

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