Firefighters lead a tough and demanding life. I mean, you know your job is important when it literally involves saving people’s lives.
Nearly two years ago, a couple of firefighters from New Jersey wanted to go have a strong, uplifting cup of coffee after spending 12 hours to clear out a warehouse fire in North Brunswick, located in Middlesex County in New Jersey, USA. They went to the Route 130 diner in the local New Jersey area and asked for the strongest coffee the barista could possibly whip up.
Paul Hullings and Tim Young were lucky to have Liz Woodward to be their waitress that day. She noticed the two were firefighters, and when she brought them the receipt, it didn’t say what price they had to pay for the coffee.
This is what it said instead:
Needless to say, the firefighters, full of nothing but nice feelings towards this wonderful waitress, thanked her through social media.
Tim recounts the event on Facebook: “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.”
The firefighters then learned that Liz’s father, Steve, is quadriplegic and has been paralyzed for five years. Liz set up a donation page in winter to fund a wheelchair accessible vehicle so that she can take her father places. They urged people on Facebook to help out with the campaign : “Turns out, the young lady who gave us a free meal is really the one that could use the help…”
For those that don’t know, quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia) is a disease where all four limbs have been paralyzed. It’s not something you acquire, and instead, can happen in most cases due to a spinal cord injury. According to Sci-info-pages, out of the 250,000 people in the US that get affected by spinal cord injuries, 47% of those end up quadriplegic.
The original goal for the campaign was $17,000, but after the firemen shared it, it quickly got to well over $70,000.
Liz and her family couldn’t be more grateful to the two firemen : “All I did was pay for their breakfast. I didn’t expect anything more than a smile,” says the waitress “It goes to show that you just have to be kind to each other and that even the smallest gesture can change a life.”