After a long day on the job, two firefighters were looking forward to a cup of coffee and some downtime. Their waitress did something surprising, and it had far-reaching consequences no one expected.
Paying it forward sets off a chain reaction of good deeds that can slowly improve the world. When a New Jersey waitress encountered two firefighters in 2015, she opened her heart and did something kind.
Liz Woodward's actions seemed simple, but the effects were incredible and a testament to the power of kindness and care.
[Left] Liz Woodward with her father; [Right] The note which thanked the firefighters for their service. | Source: facebook.com/ewoodwar facebook.com/Im.Timmy
SHE COVERED THEIR MEAL
Woodward served Tim Young and Paul Hullings, who had just spent 15 hours fighting fires. They asked for the biggest cup of coffee and mentioned the warehouse fire they had been fighting.
She said: "This was their first meal in over 24 hours; the least I could do was buy it for them for all they do every day."
The waitress told the firefighters their meal was on her and thanked them for serving their community. On their receipt, she added: "No matter your role, you are courageous, brave, and strong. Thank you for being bold every day!"
NOT THE END OF THEIR STORY
The men were emotional after reading the note and thanked the waitress with tears in their eyes.
Woodward thought her encounter with the firefighters ended there, but she was wrong. Firefighter Young posted about her actions online and encouraged others to visit the diner.
THEY HELPED RAISE MONEY FOR HER FATHER
Young discovered that Woodward was trying to raise money for someone special in her life. Her father had quadriplegia and needed a wheelchair-accessible van. Young and Hullings instantly wanted to help and highlighted Woodward's GoFundMe page.
Thanks to the awareness they created, Woodward's post was visited by around 1000 people. She received a total of $67,000, surpassing her initial goal of $17,000.
PAYING IT FORWARD
The waitress was stunned by the firefighters and their actions. She introduced them to her father and was excited their story was touching the hearts of so many people.
Woodward expressed: "This is just one example of how so many people in this world have incredible hearts, and they pay it forward, so the circle keeps on moving."
ANOTHER WAITRESS MAKES SOMEONE'S DAY
In the service industry, employees encounter different people throughout their day, and many servers do their best to give patrons a great experience. A few employees go above and beyond their call of duty, much like Woodward and Megan King.
King was a young waitress who had no idea how much her kindness affected an elderly customer last year. She was moved to tears when she read the note left behind.
KINDNESS MAKES A DIFFERENCE
It was the customer's first time eating out alone since her husband passed away. King's warm service made the woman's day and showed how one display of kindness could make a world of difference.
The same could be said of Woodward, who paid for the firefighter's meals and received good fortune back tenfold when they helped her dad—proving that doing good is never a bad idea.