Ruthie, 65, has worked as a server at Norm’s Restaurant in Los Angeles for 39 years. She says she loves working at the restaurant and even met her husband there. While the holidays are usually a time to spend with loved ones, Ruthie says she has worked the past 32 Christmases, choosing to bring a little holiday cheer to her customers without families.
“It’s good to work sometimes on the holidays, because there are a lot of lonely people out there … I’m so happy to talk to them,” she says.
From regular customers like Toddy, who visits Norm’s every day, to newcomers like Jesse, whom she calls her “play son,” Ruthie makes everyone feel welcome when they walk in to the restaurant.
“Ruthie made me feel at home. She’s like a surrogate mother to me,” says Jesse, a young man who visited Norm’s on Christmas day a few years ago because he didn’t have family in town with whom to celebrate.
To honor Ruthie’s spirit of giving, The Doctors surprise her with a $1,000 Visa gift card, so she can take this Christmas day off of work and spend the holiday with her family. In addition, The Doctors send her back stage for a special peppermint body scrub spa treatment!