Liz Woodward happened to overhear the conversation of the two firefighters, Tim Young and Paul Hullings, she was serving breakfast at Rt. 130 Diner in Delran, New Jersey. The two had apparently spent the night fighting a huge fire which took over 12 hours to control. They were utterly exhausted and had ordered the strongest cup of coffee Liz could give them.
Touched by their dedication, Liz decided to pay for their breakfast. Instead of the usual bill at the end of the meal, they received a handwritten note from Liz, thanking them for their courage and dedication in the face of danger.
Little did Liz know that this simple act of kindness would create a giant ripple. It was the firefighters’ turn to be touched by this young woman’s gesture. They posted an excellent review of the restaurant on social media, encouraging people to patronize the business and to give a huge tip to Liz, in case she is their waitress.
Then, the two learned that Liz was actually looking for donations for a wheelchair accessible vehicle for her paralyzed. She had created a crowd funding campaign to raise $17,000 for the vehicle. Despite needing every single cent for her dad, she still willingly shared a portion of her money to pay for the firemen’s meal.
So, the firefighters once again launched a campaign with their friends, this time to help gather donations for Liz’s dad. Would you believe that within days the crowd sourcing campaign was able to gather $70,000 – not just $17,000 as Liz had initially wished for!
It is amazing how her simple act of kindness magnified into something great for her.
Liz said, “All I did was pay for their breakfast. I didn’t expect anything more than a smile. It goes to show that you just have to be kind to each other and that even the smallest gesture can change a life.”
As the name implies, crowd funding is a project or campaign being funded by a crowd of people, not just by one or a few individuals. This is often used to raise a specific sum of money for a good cause, such as treatment for a cancer patient, scholarship to a school, dream vacations for a terminally ill patient, items (which could be as big as a car or a house) for a homeless person, etc.
Crowd funding is often fuelled by social media, with plenty of individuals sharing any amount of money ranging from a dollar to several thousands. For example, Liz’s campaign received $5,000 from one anonymous donor!