Liz decided to leave a message on her check for a couple of firemen while working the night shift. She never expected them to come back with the news that changed her life.

New Jersey’s Tim Young and Paul Hullings are dedicated firefighters living for their jobs.

They had been working tirelessly to clear out a fire for 12 hours. After that, being totally exhausted, they went to the café at about 6 a.m. to ask for the best cup of coffee that the barista could make.

Tim Young and Paul Hullings. (Google)

Liz Woodward was their waitress that day and she just happened to overhear the two firefighters talking about their battle with the fire.

Eventually, they were met with a nice surprise when they went to pay. A message was sent to them instead of their bill.

A message was sent to firefighters instead of their bill. (Google)

They thanked the waitress for her warm gesture. Young tells the story 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.”

But the story doesn’t finish there. The firefighters have heard that Liz’s father, Steve, isa  quadriplegic and has been paralyzed for five years. Last winter, Liz set up a donation page to finance an accessible wheelchair vehicle to take her father places.

Tim urged people to donate to Liz’s crowdfund on Facebook: “Turns out, the young lady WHO gave us a free meal is really the one that could use the help…”

Liz’s father. (Google)

She had raised more than $70,000 within a few days—far more than the $17,000 required for an accessible wheelchair vehicle.

“All I did was pay for their breakfast. I didn’t expect anything more than a smile,” Liz said.

This story is evidence that kindness pays off—sometimes a thousandfold, better for everyone involved in it.

Good deeds are contagious, as the saying goes.