A mom of two, Bridget Stevens had enough on her plate already, raising her two boys alone while her husband is deployed with the National Guard. When a local repairman found out about her situation, though, he took it upon himself to make sure she knew how he felt about what her husband was doing.
Stevens arrived home one winter day to a frigid house absent of all heat.
It didn’t take long for the mom to realize that her furnace was out—and with night fast approaching and two young children, she knew she couldn’t put off getting it fixed.
Despite the knowledge that the fix wouldn’t be cheap, Stevens called a local repairman, Paul Betlyn, to see if he could do anything to help her out. He made his way over, even though it was past normal working hours, and went to work on the boiler.
While he was working, Stevens happened to mention during their exchange that her husband was deployed overseas.
A few days later, though, she went to get her bill from the handyman—and couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw what he’d written on the invoice.
“No heat, evening call,” Betlyn had labeled the invoice.
Normally, the evening call may have cost a little extra. This time, though, the bill was far less than expected:
“Deployment discount,” the bill then read. Under Total Amount, all Betlyn had written was “$1.00.”
Overwhelmed, Stevens tried to convince the 65-year-old to take her money anyway, but he refused. It was his way, he insisted, of thanking her husband for his service; it wasn’t anything big, but it was the best he could do.
In the aftermath, Stevens shared the invoice on Facebook, where it quickly went viral—but Betlyn’s kindness hadn’t stopped with his incredibly generous fee for the repair. He went on to create the Military Deployment Kisses Fund, raising money to support families with loved ones who were busy serving overseas.
Although the $1 charge had been a joke—Betlyn refused to take even a cent from Stevens—the sentiment behind what he did was all too real. As a family waited for their husband and father to come home, it was a small gesture from a local business that truly was able to make a huge impact on their morale and sense of financial security.