As Hefty reports, New Jersey firefighters Tim Young and Paul Hullings were exhausted after their 12-hour shift clearing out a fire, so they ventured to a local diner at about 6 am and indulged in the strongest cups of coffee available at the establishment.
After chatting for a bit and sipping their hot drinks, the two eventually asked for their bill from waitress Liz Woodward. Little did they know she had been quietly listening in to their tiresome battle and had drawn up the following note instead of a bill.
As both firefighters read the message, their eyes filled up with tears. They then thanked Woodward for her kind gesture and support. Liz, no doubt, assumed that would be the last of their lovely interaction. But goodness, was she wrong…
On Facebook, Tim recounted the event:
“Such a selfless and kind act. I definitely urge my friends to make a trip out and support the business, and if Liz happens to be your waitress, tip big.”
No doubt an increase in business was experienced from her admirable display of kindness, but that’s not where this story ends!
The firefighters soon learned that Liz’s father, Steve, is a quadriplegic and has been paralyzed for five years. Liz already set up a donation page in the winter to fund a wheelchair accessible vehicle to transport her father, but wasn’t yet near her goal.
After learning of this, Tim reached out to people on Facebook to donate to Liz’s crowd-funding campaign: “Turns out, the young lady who gave us a free meal is really the one that could use the help…”
That’s when something astonishing happened: In just a few short days, the campaign had raised more than $70,000 – far more than the $17,000 needed for a wheelchair accessible van! Liz and her family couldn’t be more grateful for the firefighters, or all the incredibly kind people who assisted in the campaign without having met her or her father.
”All I did was pay for their breakfast. I didn’t expect anything more than a smile,” says Woodward. “It goes to show that you just have to be kind to each other and that even the smallest gesture can change a life.”
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