Beaming barista gets $2,000 tip, thanks to 'Venmo Challenge'

Ask anyone, and they will tell you: When you come through the drive-thru at White Duck Espresso, barista Whittney Sparks will light up your day.

“Her positivity, and just, oh my gosh, the wit with it. And she’s just so kind,” said customer Alexis Fish.

Fish has been a regular at the New Port Richey coffee stand since they opened six months ago.

“We’ve been here about once or twice a day since, it’s almost ridiculous,” Fish said.

Their friendship was just that – built off of a few minutes every day in the drive-thru. That is, until this past weekend. 

Fish raised $2,100 through the Venmo Challenge, a do-good trend making the rounds on social media.

Fish asked her followers on Instagram and TikTok to donate whatever they could, and she would tip someone in the service industry.

That someone was Whittney.

“I actually was going through the coffee line and was telling Whittney about a server we had recently surprised, the first time we did it,” Fish said. “And I thought, you know what, I felt it in my heart. Whittney deserves all of this, and more.”

It took only four days, but Fish says she was able to raise just over $2,100. She surprised Whittney at work on Saturday.

Whittney says, when she counted the $100 bills, her heart was pounding.

“I was in shock that it was all for me,” she said. “Because I literally just wake up every day, and I treat people the way I want to be treated.”

Fish says the money came from across the community, country and world – someone from Australia even donated $200. For every challenge, Fish rounds up the funds to the nearest $100 with her own money.

“It’s so humbling to be able to bring the community together and do that for an individual that not everybody knows,” she said. “So, strangers coming together is just amazing.”

And she plans to keep it that way. Fish is planning another surprise this weekend, and this time, Whittney is coming along.

“I always say, it doesn’t have to be $10,” Fish said. “It could be 50 cents to a dollar, and you can change somebody’s life if you can, why not? What’s it going to do? It’s not going to hurt anybody to give a little.”


If you'd like to help Alexis Fish raise money for her next recipient, here's how to reach out:

  • Venmo: alexisdee
  • PayPal:
  • Cashapp: $lexxvsg