It was a Sunday like any other for the Wauconda Fire District. The gold shift firefighters had all chipped in and gone to buy food for dinner when they had to drop their groceries on a moment's notice.
"We were next in line at Jewel to pay and we got a call for a fire alarm, so we put our groceries back in our carts and responded to the call," said Lieutenant E.J. Miller.
The call was minor, but when they returned to Jewel, they found a thoughtful surprise.
"We came back to find our groceries were bagged up for us already. Thought that was kinda odd, so we got back in line," Miller said. "Then one of the employees at Jewel came and told us that a customer had paid for our groceries."
Whoever paid for the food left no note, not even a receipt.
"It was a big surprise," said firefighter and paramedic Seth Dishno. "Nothing we expected. It's done wonders for the community. It's nice to feel appreciated, that the community feels that way towards us."
"I thought it was great," said firefighter and paramedic Chris Stephens. "A good thing for the community to do."
With no note, the only way the Wauconda Fire District could say thank you was in a Facebook post. But they decided to take that act of kindness, and pay it forward.
The firefighters took the money they were going to spend on their dinner, and gave it to a local food pantry instead.
"We talked to the food pantry and the money that we had donated will go to feed over 200 families that they take care of," said Miller.
"It does make a huge difference to feel the kick back from the community and then to be able to pass that on to the community is huge," Dishno added.
"The town of Wauconda and the other eight municipalities in which we serve are great communities," said Wauconda Fire District Chief Mike Wahl. "And we are very proud."