Of all the heroic professions out there, fighting fires has to rank among one of the most admirable.

I mean, the fact that there are people who are ready and willing to run into a burning building when all others are running in the opposite direction simply never ceases to amaze me. That’s why firefighters – like other emergency service personnel – will always have my undying respect.

Of course, I’m not the only one of the belief that the brave men and women who do this for a living deserve the utmost appreciation. The story in question, which played out a few years ago, is evidence enough of that fact…

In 2019 New Jersey firefighters Paul Hulling and Tim Young had just finished a daunting 12-hour shift battling an intense blaze at a warehouse in North Brunswick, New Jersey, when they headed to a local cafe for coffee.

The two exhausted men sat down at the Route 130 Diner, where Liz Woodward happened to be their waitress. After overhearing the two men discuss the day’s work, Liz took it upon herself to do something nice for both of them.

Little did she know that her gesture of kindness would spark a chain reaction of events that would see her story garner viral attention online.

Credit / Youtube

Firefighters Young and Hullings stopped at the Route 130 Diner in Delran after an overnight shift containing a warehouse fire, according to WPVI.

The massive fire was seen for miles around. Getting it under control took a long time and a lot of sweat and effort. After hearing about the difficult day, their firefighters’ kindhearted waitress, Liz, wanted to show her appreciation.

It was when Paul and Tim were finishing up that they noticed something unusual on their check. Not only had Liz paid for both their meals, but she’d also left them a heartwarming, handwritten note.

”Your breakfast is on me today. Thank you all that you do, for serving us and for running into the places everyone runs away from. No matter your role, you are courageous, brave and strong. Thank you for being bold every day,” the note read.

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

Tim shared a photo of the check on Facebook, calling for his friends to visit the diner and to “tip big” if they ever had Woodward as a waitress.

Not only that, but Paul and Tim also learned how Liz had been trying to raise money for her father, who had been left paralyzed by a brain aneurysm.

”He needs access to the outside world. He needs to see the world outside his hospital bed,” Liz explained.

In a truly touching turn of events, the two firefighters made it their mission to help Liz reach her goal of raising $17,000 on a GoFundMe page. Thanks to Paul and Tim’s involvement, the page eventually raised more than $86,500!

“Our family has witnessed an outpouring of love & support from around the world, and I want to thank each and every one of you beautiful human beings for making this dream possible!” an update on the fundraiser said.

A tearful Liz, told WPVI: ”All I did was pay for their breakfast, and I didn’t think anything would come about it except they would leave with a smile.”

Credit / Youtube

Hopefully, this is a reminder to everyone that even the smallest gesture can lead to something amazing. You never know what it’s going to mean to someone else.

Be kind to each other, pay it forward when you can, that even the smallest gestures can change somebody’s life! 


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