This Waitress' Gesture Proves the Shutdown Brings the Best Out Of People

WiaAs the government shutdown moves toward its third week, many furloughed workers are in dire financial straits. Fortunately, simple acts of generosity can make a profound difference. A waitress in Concord, N.H. demonstrated the power of kindness when she bought lunch for two furloughed soldiers.

Sarah Hoidahl is a waitress at Ruby Tuesday. As the pair was looking through the menu, they offhandedly mentioned being furloughed during the shutdown. Hoidahl, a single mother to a 15-month-old baby, empathized with their situation and treated them to lunch. After picking up the tab, Hoidahl wrote a quick note on the receipt thanking the soldiers for their service.

After gratefully hugging her, the soldiers posted Hoidahl's picture and a copy of her note to Facebook where the story quickly spread. What she saw as a simple act of kindness has inspired thousands online. Hoidahl has expressed surprise and excitement over the response from the public. But for her, "Just seeing the reaction on [the soldiers'] faces was totally worth it."