DELRAN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A waitress in Delran, New Jersey and her family were gifted a very special vehicle Thursday, after she helped out a pair of firefighters.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, a receipt from the Route 130 Diner in Delran went viral over the summer. A waitress paid for the breakfast of two firefighters, thanking them for all they do.
They posted about her act of kindness on Facebook.
And when firefighters Paul Hullings and Tim Young learned that waitress Liz Woodward had started a GoFundMe page to pay for a wheelchair-accessible van for her father, they wanted to pay her back and help spread the word.
Donations came pouring in.
Woodward’s father, Steve, had a brain aneurysm rupture in 2010 and became quadriplegic. Without an expensive special vehicle, the family had no way of transporting him.
On Thursday, that all changed. Steve Woodward was given the gift of mobility in the form of a fully accessibly Mobility Ventures MV-1.
“This is the greatest day,” Steve Woodward said.
Mobility Ventures LLC, the maker of the vehicle, heard about the fundraising and donated the MV-1. Now, the GoFundMe contributions can go toward medical costs.
So where were they going first?
“‘Star Wars,’” Steve Woodward said.
For the Woodwards, simple things that many of us take for granted are now possible.
“To be able to take him to see the ocean; to smell the saltwater,” Liz Woodward said.
Indeed, one small act snowballed into new friendships and a restored quality of life.
“This whole story has been about gratitude and paying it forward in any way that you can,” Liz Woodward said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
It was a message that the Woodward family will now take with them on the road.
The family said they received donations and words of encouragement from people in more than 125 countries.