This is Joe Thomas, a waiter who loves his job at IHOP.
For 11 years, the 43-year-old has worked at IHOP in Springfield Illinois. And he loves it. “I love the people,” he explained to CBS News. “I just love my life, and I love the way I am.”
Thomas’ customers and coworkers love him back.
The 43-year-old doesn’t have any kids of his own, but he treats his regulars like family.
And now, the internet has fallen in love with him too—after someone posted a picture of him on Facebook helping an elderly couple eat breakfast.
The picture was shared by Keshia Dotson, who explained the situation.
“My faith in humanity has been restored a little today,” Dotson wrote.
The woman, known as Ma, has Huntington’s Disease, which causes nerve cells in the brain to breakdown over time. The genetic disorder has made it difficult for Ma to eat.
For years, the elderly couple has eaten breakfast at the restaurant at least once a week—and always orders the same thing. While feeding Ma, the man’s meal often went cold.
After years of seeing Ma’s health decline, Thomas decided to step in.
“One day I just said to him you eat your food — I got this,” he explained to BuzzFeed News.
“We’ve become good friends and I’ve grown attached to her,” Thomas told BuzzFeed News. “I’m just here to help.”
Thomas wants his viral act of kindness to inspire others.
After blowing up the internet, Thomas told CBS News what he’d like to see. “Remember that movie, Pay It Forward? That’s what I’m hoping for.”
The world could use more people like him.