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Stranger Leaves Family Touching Note (and Pays for Dinner)

Stranger pays for dinner for family with special needs child

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Out to dinner with her family this weekend, North Carolina mom Ashley England wasn't exactly having the easiest time with her son, Riley. But not because he was being a typical rowdy 8-year-old. Young Riley suffers from epilepsy and is nonverbal—which can often lead to a lot of screaming and acting out in public places. And that's exactly what was happening in the middle of their nice family dinner at the local Stag & Doe restaurant.

Now, you might expect a family dinner outing with a screaming kid in tow to be met with lots of annoyed fellow restaurant-goers shooting irritated looks and plenty of stares their way. (We've all been there.) But in a surprise, totally random act of kindness, another patron at the Stag & Doe decided to flip the script.

Spotting England's frustrations, the stranger called over his waitress to make a simple, yet heartfelt gesture to the family: Not only did he pay for their entire meal, but he also left behind a note that brought them to tears. Across the would-be receipt were the words: God only gives special children to special people. (How's that for uplifting?)

And it couldn't have come at a better time. As England later told CNN, the family had just endured a particularly embarrassing episode during which Riley started to scream, bang on their table, and throw his mom's phone—all because he couldn't get her Netflix app to work. It obviously caused more than a bit of a scene in the restaurant (and plenty of frustration for the Englands), but the fact that a fellow diner could see past the ruckus and right to the heart of the situation is truly touching.

The mom immediately took to Facebook to post about the sweet gesture, uploading a photo of the receipt and writing: "Dear stranger, thank you for giving me a blessing tonight in a way you will never know." And it didn't take long for the good news to go viral—it's received thousands of shares in just days.

The Englands are hoping to track down the do-gooder and thank him personally for what he's done. As England told WBTV, "The past few weeks have been very hard and trying for us —especially with public outings. [But that gesture] made me cry, blessed me more than they know—I felt like out of all the rude negative comments that we are faced with, this outweighs them. People care!"

Image via CNN

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