Roberto Rivas teaches Spanish full-time at a local high school, and on weekends, he waits tables at two restaurants. He had just finished serving pancakes and eggs to a party of 16 one Saturday morning when a customer called him over. "We have something for you," said Richard Brooks, counting out $1,600 in $100 bills and explaining they were members of the $1,000 Breakfast Club. Rivas, 29, almost burst into tears. Since his family immigrated to the US from Venezuela in 2022, he'd been saving to buy his mother new hearing aids. Brooks worked as a waiter for five years while at law school and still remembers getting his first big tip. Group members visit a different IHOP in the greater Boston area every few months. About 20 people now belong. "It's a small effort for us, but the impact it has on those recipients is huge," said Janet Meaney, 73. "It's a wonderful way to thank hard-working people."

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