updated 04/02/2014 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/02/2014 AT 12:20 PM ET
Chelsea Roff raised her little sister on her own, struggled to overcome an eating disorder that led to a stroke and an 18-month hospitalization, but later went on to fund a non-profit yoga program, Eat, Breathe, Thrive, to help others deal with similar afflictions.
And on April Fools’ Day, Roff, a Venice, Calif., waitress, received the ultimate feel-good prank to honor her good work and positive spirit, described by one admirer as “rising from a pit to the top,” ABC News reports.
With hidden video recording an unusual day on the job slinging ribs at Los Angeles’s Spring Street Smokehouse, an incredulous Roff, 23, had the “best shift ever.” She received a $1,000 tip, a Hawaiian vacation, a new car and a dream job teaching therapeutic yoga at a treatment center.
The gifts were all handed out one by one from customers as Roff listened in amazement.
She was nominated for the “prank it forward” day by her boss, restaurant owner Chris Patterson, through the viral feel-good campaign from the website break.com. He noticed Roth’s work ethic and dedication to get ahead and help others.
“Believe me, Chelsea deserves a vacation,” Patterson said on the video, where he and others at the restaurant along with Roff’s friends are all in on the special day. They noted that she had earned it.
“The work she is doing now is actually impacting and saving lives. How would I not want to be a part of that?” said longtime friend Diana Roehl, who had helped Roff through her eating disorder and who emerged from the new Nissan car as Roth screamed and cried.
“No one has ever just given me things that I don’t have to work for,” Roff said. “I was just so shocked. In life, you work for things, that’s how you get things.”
Roff says she wants to continue her charitable work to help people recovering from eating disorders. “I love working at the restaurant and waitressing and being around people, but I want to teach yoga full-time through my foundation,” Roff told Good Morning America. “That’s my goal.”