Collins' last wish was caught on tape by his brother, Seth. The video has gone viral, hitting websites all over the world.
Since Aaron Collins didn't have much money, his family collected the funds necessary to leave the generous tip. Seth Collins said this was in his brother's will, which read more like a conversation than anything else.
"I'm thankful for it, but never expected any of this;" explained Seth Collins, Aaron's older brother.
Seth and his family presented the tip and story to the waitress who served them at Puccini's in Chevy Chase in Lexington.
"We came in, had lunch. The whole time I was so anxious because I knew what we were doing. The whole family knew she was getting a $500 tip."
They chose Puccini's because they'd never been there before. Seth says it added to the "randomness" of the act of kindness.
"He felt like they (waiters) are under-appreciated, underpaid."
The family is still collecting donations in order to pay it forward and continue to give $500 tips to waiters and waitresses in Collins' name.
"Its been amazing. Especially for my mom. She's getting to see all these wonderful things people are saying about Aaron," Seth explained.
He also said his brother would be overwhelmed by the response.
"He'd be laughing at how much work he created for me--just knowing that he'd kept me busy for days."
At last check, Seth says the website has collected up to $20,000 and he'll happily be spreading the money among waiters and waitresses as soon as possible.
Aaron Collins was admitted to the hospital on July 3. He died on July 7th. Seth Collins said his brother died of lack of oxygen following an illness.
To donate, go to AaronCollins.org.