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DELRAN, NJ (ABC via Pathfire) - Two firefighters from New Jersey have been trying to raise money for a waitress, and her sick father, after she treated them to breakfast one morning. Those firefighters finally met the woman's father face to face with a big surprise.
Lives were unexpectedly drawn together by Liz Woodward's now famous act of kindness while working the overnight shift at the Route 130 diner in Delran.
"All I did was pay for their breakfast and I didn't think anything would come from it except they would leave with a smile," Liz said.
Rather than hand them a bill, Woodward penned a note thanking Volunteer firefighters Paul Hullings and Tim Young for their service. It read, "Your breakfast is on me today. Thank you for all you do serving others."
Touched by the gesture, the men decided to pay it forward once they learned Woodward has been trying to raise money to buy her paralyzed father a wheelchair accessible van. She set up a gofundme account last year.
"It's essentially been sharing the word as much as possible from sharing it on Facebook to talking to people at my full time job," said Tim Young with the Mount Laurel Fire Department.
Paul Hillings with the Hainesport Fire Department said, "We're not just firefighters--everybody's life."
The story went viral and donations poured in. In three days, the account, over $57,000, nearly doubled what Liz had collected.
While Woodward is excited by how the donations will help her father--she hopes the story sends a message. She said, "The message is...my entire family is living proof."
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