In October 2013, 22-year-old Sarah Hoidahl went to work her afternoon shift at Ruby Tuesday in Concord, New Hampshire. It started out like any other day, but everything changed when two military servicewomen took their seats.
Sarah overheard the pair of National Guard members discussing the fact they needed to limit their lunch order. From October 1 through 16 of 2013, the United States federal government entered a shutdown, which left these women without their usual paychecks and struggling to feed themselves and their families.
At the time, Sarah’s son Ashton was 9 months old. She knew exactly what it meant to struggle — which is why she decided to cover the servicewomen’s $27.75 meal.
Instead of handing the soldiers their bill, Sarah handed them a handwritten note: “Thanks to the government shutdown, the people like you that protect this country aren’t getting paid. However, I still am. Lunch is on me! Thank you for serving, ladies!”
Despite the fact that Sarah went home that day without enough money to put gas in her car, the selfless single mother knew she had done the right thing. She never intended for her simple act of kindness to go viral, but that’s exactly what happened after the two National Guard members posted about her good deed online.
It wasn’t long before Ellen DeGeneres heard the story and invited Sarah onto her show to pay her back the $27.75 right from her own pocket… but that wasn’t all she had planned.
When Sarah realized the real surprise, she broke down in tears on Ellen’s red couch. Please enjoy this emotional and well-deserved surprise, and please SHARE this video with your friends on Facebook!