Waitress Buys Firefighters Breakfast & They Pay Her Kindness Forward Big-Time

One act of generosity from a waitress is coming back to her in a bountiful way. Two firefighters are raising funds for the paralyzed father of a waitress who paid for their breakfast one morning.


When Liz Woodward served two New Jersey firefighters early in the morning she overheard them talking about their exhausting night. Tim Young and Paul Hullings were fresh from a warehouse fire they'd spent the past 12 hours fighting. She was so inspired she paid for their meals and left them a note of gratitude.

My friend Paul Hullings went with Hainesport station 391 as part of Burlington county tender strike team to the...

Posted by Tim Young on Thursday, July 23, 2015

This, in turn, inspired the firefighters to pay her kindness forward. But they didn't just urge people to tip her generously. They also found out Woodward had started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a wheelchair-accessible van for her father -- so he could share more meaningful moments with his family. A post on the GoFundMe page explains.

Weddings, Funerals, Celebrations and Graduations ... He’s missed them all. Family picnics on 4th of July or out to park to watch fireworks (we’ve always watched them out of his hospital window). We’ve shared everything with him on cell phones in videos and photographs since he couldn’t get there.

The firefighters got behind the campaign and soon raised far more than Woodward's original goal of $17,000. They raised $60,000. That's going to buy the Woodward family a sweet set of wheels! But more importantly, Liz's father will be able to attend all these family events he's been missing.

Liz Woodward's greatest heart's desire granted, all because she wanted to show some gratitude to a couple of weary firefighters. It's not something she went looking for. "All I did was pay for their breakfast," she told WPVI, "and I didn't think anything would come about it except they would leave with a smile."

It's beautiful how often sending goodness out into the world sends blessings right back to you. And it's even better knowing you're never alone in your intentions. There is always someone else out there also trying to be their best selves, watching for opportunities. People like firefighter Paul Hullings, who told WPVI, "We're not just firefighters. We're also caring people; we want to be part of everybody's life."

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