An Alabama mom and her son were waiting in a Chick-fil-A drive-thru when they noticed that the car in front of them was from Florida, so they made a split-second decision to pay it forward.
In a viral Facebook post from Sept. 8, Tara Parker Routzong said that she took her 9-year-old son, Landon, to the chicken sandwich chain after they had been talking about Hurricane Irma earlier in the day.
As they sat in the car line outside the Troy, Alabama, restaurant, which is off of a highway serving as a major evacuation route from Irma's destruction, the boy spotted the out-of-towners ahead of them, notes ABC News.
"So he asked if he could pay for the meal and of course I agreed," Tara told ABC News.
The car was at the pay window, the people gearing up to buy their food. At that point, Tara told Landon, "Here's my debit card. Run!"
That's just what her usually-shy son did. He sprinted "toward their window with a debit card in hand and [scared] the mess out of them," she recounted in the Facebook post which was given more than 2,900 reactions as of the evening of Sept. 11.
"He went up to the window and asked the gentleman in the car if he minded if he paid his meal," Tara told ABC. "The man said yes and thanked him and shook his hand."
The boy's mom said she was "really proud of [Landon] for doing that."
"I didn’t want them to waste their money on food because they’re trying to escape the hurricane," Landon told ABC. "I felt like I should help out."
Tara said that the man in the car had "left his home in Miami and was passing through to go stay with family in Birmingham. They told him that they would keep him in their thoughts and that they hoped he "returned to his house untouched."
"Landon and I both had tears in our eyes from how appreciative he was," she wrote on Facebook. "I often feel like I'm failing because I can't do it all, all the time and then things like this happen and remind me that I don't have to. My most important job is going just fine."
Facebook users lauded Tara for capitalizing on the "great way to teach children to help others" and even called her son a "HERO."
"You are doing such an amazing job with Landon," one person commented on her post. "Great little boy with a huge heart. Keep up the great work."
Others thanked her for the kind deed, and one remarked that the story shows there are "great people out there."
"You had me crying," commented another. "What a great woman you are and the life lesson you just gave your son is priceless."