Firefighters Repay Generous Waitress With Crowdfunding

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( — September 28, 2015) Las Vegas, NV — What do you do when a stranger pays for your meal? For the New Jersey firefighters, they sure know how to return the favor to the waitress who paid for their breakfast. Liz Woodward, a waitress at the Route 130 Diner in Delran, overheard the firefighters, Tim Young and Paul Higgins, talking about a rough overnight shift fighting a massive fire in North Brunswick.

“When it came time for the bill, we flipped it over and she decided to comp it on her own,” said Tim Young, Mt. Holly Fire Department.

“I started tearing up and it made me feel good – us firefighters are wanted, people care about us,” said Paul Hullings, Hainesport Fire Department.

On the back of the bill she wrote: “Your breakfast is on me today. Thank you for 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 everyday. Fueled by fire and driven by courage – what an example you are. Get some rest!”

Young and Hullings posted the experience on Facebook and the story spread like wildfire—shared over 3,000 times. It was later on that they realized it was Woodward who needed some meaningful help.

“Turns out, the young lady who gave us free meal is really the one that could use the help…” Young posted with a link to a GoFundMe page that Liz started in December last year for his dad Steve. Woodward was trying to raise money for her dad who needed a wheel-chair accessible van after he’s turned quadriplegic due to brain aneurysm.

“If we have to do a fundraiser, we’ll do whatever we can to help” said Hullings. To date, their project has raised over $81,000.

For technophiles and inventors, it’s a way to get cool gadgets before they go mainstream. Equally important, Crowdfunding as a method to build social awareness is picking up steam. Jim Graham, a principal with Kickstarter Millionaire had this to say, “I like how crowdfunding supports social causes. Woodward’s story was not only heartwarming but it shows how everyone has an innate desire to help one another. Whether we are talking about causes or business, we all have the desire to help and give back. A few years ago, my mentor helped me earn my first 16 cents online. Within a year, I was earning well over $1 million per year online. My purpose is to give back and share what I’ve learned.”

Kickstarter Millionaire is a system that gives access to the ‘war-room’ where a team of social media experts work together to collaborate on a crowdfunded launch. “Nobody else is doing this worldwide, step-by-step as a team. In addition to leveraging over 50,000 members in social media, our global board of experts hand selects the right project to launch, fund and monetize. Whatever you don’t know how to do with crowdfunding, we make up the difference. I’ve seen hundreds of ways to make money online, and this is, by far, the best way that has ever come along,” explains Graham.

A random act of kindness creates a ripple effect. Woodward had no idea how her simple gesture would bring on greater blessings in another form. As of today, their GoFundMe campaign has raised almost $82,000 of $17,000 goal with over 1,600 people who pledged during the last 9 months.

“I don’t even know what to say to that. That’s incredible – what a way to wake up today. I had no idea today was going to go like this,” said Woodward.

What goes around is more than money…and what comes around pays dividends beyond what can be measured. In Woodward’s case, a $20 donation to a couple of firefighters turned into over $81,000 in charity back to her family.



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