A group of emergency responders from Toms River, N.J., clocked out after a long night of calls Friday and met up at IHOP for some well-deserved grub.
The five volunteers, Keri Murphy, Michael Dolch, Robert Tully, Patrick Masterson, Larry Rosenberg and their captain, Alyssa Golembeski, ate their breakfasts and got ready to head out, Patch reported.
But when their server came, she told them not to worry about paying. Instead of a bill, they got a receipt that said “Paid, thank you for all you do!” and a smiley face. It was signed “recovering addict.”
Golembeski said the total bill came to about $77, according to Patch.
“When I asked the manager who it was, he told us she didn’t want to give her name and that she had already left. We never got the chance to thank her in person,” Golembeski told NJ.com “Even though it may not have been my crew or my EMTs that were there when she was an active addict, she still took the time to do that for us.”
Although the note did not specify any particular addiction, emergency teams like the one in Toms River have been faced with waves of overdose calls in the midst of the nation’s opioid crisis. New Jersey has not been spared, and the state has considered novel treatment options like the expansion of medical marijuana, CBS News reported.
Golembeski shared a photo of the note on Facebook thanking the anonymous donor.
“This gift was amazingly thoughtful, and brought our table of tired EMTs to tears. We are so blessed to be able to serve you and everyone else who lives and works in the greater Toms River area,” she wrote.
Golembeski also said that once the story was posted on Patch, they were able to make contact with the donor.
“Her act of kindness definitely recharged and refreshed us all,” Golembeski told the site.
Her original post has now been shared nearly 300 times on Facebook, with many commenters saying how they were inspired by the anonymous woman’s act of kindness.