Any parent will tell you that getting your kids to behave while out to dinner is no easy feat. When you're a single mom with three kids -- including two with special needs -- that task becomes infinitely more challenging.
Still, that's exactly what one Raleigh, North Carolina single mom has done every Friday night for the last few years, taking her family out to a new restaurant every week despite several moves and a messy divorce, ABC 11 reports.
Last week, while at a local Pizza Hut with her youngest kids, the divorced mom (who asked to remain anonymous) approached a man sitting in a booth nearby and apologized in advance for the noise she knew her kids were likely to make, the local ABC affiliate reports. The man assured the woman that it would be no problem and that as a father himself, he could relate.
It wasn't until after he left that the man's kindness was revealed: before leaving the restaurant, he made arrangements to pay for the family's meal, purchased a Pizza Hut gift card for them, and left the single mom of three a note that brought her to tears:
"I do not know your back story, but I have had the privilege of watching you parent your children for the past 30 minutes. I have to say thank you for parenting your children in such a loving manner.
I have watched you teach your children about the importance of respect, education, proper manners, communication, self control, and kindness all while being very patient. I will never cross your path again but am positive that you and your children have amazing futures.
Keep up the good work and when it starts to get tough do not forget that others may be watching and will need the encouragement of seeing a good family being raised. God bless! -Jake."
The note, written on the backs of receipts, came as a complete surprise to the single mom.
"You just don't know what people go through. Here I've had the worst few years of my life and I never get recognition like this, I just do what I can to get by," the woman told ABC 11. "I want him and his family to know that he's awesome. You never know who's watching you."
Click over to ABC 11 to hear what else the mom of three had to say, then click through the slideshow below for even more heartwarming acts by strangers.