Carly Lane
Updated July 28, 2015 5:31 am

It’s always encouraging to hear about random acts of kindness that make someone’s day; it’s even better when those acts of kindness go viral. That’s exactly what happened after a New Jersey waitress left a particularly sweet note behind for some customers who weren’t expecting it at all.

Firefighters Tim Young and Paul Hullings were just planning on grabbing a quick bite to eat at a local diner after a long 12-hour shift. They didn’t realize that their waitress, Liz Woodward, was going to take care of their meal as her way of saying thanks for all their service.

“When it came time for the bill, we flipped it over and she decided to comp it on her own,” Young told local news channel WPVI. Hullings also added that he got a little choked up: “I started tearing up and it made me feel good – us firefighters are wanted, people care about us.”

They posted a quick shot of the note she left to Facebook, where it went viral. “Thank you for all that you do; for serving others & for running into the places everyone else runs away from. No matter your role, you are courageous, brave and strong,” Liz wrote.

But the story doesn’t end there! Young and Hullings soon learned that their waitress was trying to raise funds to pay for a specialized van for her father, who had become paralyzed after suffering a brain aneurysm five years prior. They started to spread the word – just another great example of paying it forward.

Even better? Prior to the Facebook post, Liz had only raised about half of the cost for the van so far. Since the post went viral, she’s received over $60,000 in donations — more than enough to cover her expenses.

In a post on the GoFundMe page, Liz expressed her gratitude to everyone who pitched in: “We understand that there were many that weren’t in a position to donate, but you helped share our story and share our dream, and because of your posts blowing up everybody’s news feeds, THAT DREAM CAME TRUE. EVERY SINGLE DONATION helped to make this dream a reality. As you can see, EVERY LITTLE BIT counted. EVERY effort was a remarkable example of LOVE. We are overwhelmed. The outpouring of love, of support, and of positivity is truly so incredible.”

What? We’re not crying, there’s just something in our eye.

[Featured image via Facebook.]