When Liz Woodward decided to pay the breakfast bill for two exhausted New Jersey firefighters, she hoped that her random act of kindness would make a small difference in their busy day. However, Liz never could have predicted what the firefighters would then do for her in return – a “small” gesture that would ultimately change not only her life, but the lives of her family members too. This hard-working waitress was in the middle of her night shift when volunteer firefighters Paul Hullings and Tim Young walked into the diner.

Liz shared with ABC News, “As they walked in they said ‘I need the biggest cup of coffee that you have.’ As soon as they said that, I knew they had had a day!” After spending hours fighting an enormous warehouse fire, the two men were run down, and in desperate need of coffee and breakfast. After finishing their meal, Liz brought the firefighters their bill. On it she wrote, “Your breakfast is on me today. Thank you for all that you do; for serving others & for running into the places everyone else runs away from.”

The men were so moved by Liz’ selfless and generous act, that they decided to share their diner experience on Facebook. It was through social media that the firefighters then learned more about their kind and generous waitress – and there was far more to this young girl’s story than they ever could’ve imagined. After hearing of the challenges that Liz was facing, Paul and Tim decided that they wanted to try and help her in return. Watch below to learn what this sweet waitress was facing, and what these two men did to change her life: