When a college student went to get a cup of coffee near campus, she couldn’t help but notice a man there. He looked like he didn’t have a home, so she decided to give him a hot meal.

He gave her a crumpled note with a message she couldn’t believe after she gave him the food. She didn’t get the thanks she thought she would.

Casey Fischer was getting her morning coffee at a Dunkin Donuts near her college campus when she saw a man who was clearly homeless. She saw him sitting on the side of the road and picking up loose change that people had dropped. Then he walked into the coffee shop, not knowing that he had caught her eye.

Casey decided to try to talk to the homeless man, whose name she later found out was Chris, as she watched him count his money. The young college student didn’t know it yet, but she was about to meet a stranger who would change both of their lives.

“I started to be really annoying, and I kept talking to him even when he didn’t want to,” Casey said. “Since he had maybe $1 in change, I bought him a coffee and bagel and asked him to sit down with me,” she said, describing the moment she decided to give the stranger some warm food and company because it was clear he could use it.

Casey put her own plans on hold for a moment and sat down next to this lonely, needy man. Chris joined Casey, and the small breakfast she had made seemed to go over well as the two got to know each other a little better. Even more, the stranger started to talk about his life and admit the mistakes he had made that had led him to where he was.

“He told me a lot about how people are usually mean to him because he’s homeless, how drugs turned him into the person he hated, how he lost his mom to cancer, how he never knew his dad, and how he just wants to be someone his mom would be proud of,” Casey wrote in a Facebook post about a conversation she had with a “lovely” man named Chris that lasted over an hour.

Casey went on, “Chris was one of the most honest and sincere people I’ve ever met,” but they were about to part ways. Casey had given the man some food and some of his time and attention. Now he was about to get something back. Chris was going to thank her in a way that she would always remember.

“When I realized I had to get back to class, Chris asked me to wait so he could write something down for me,” Casey said. “He gave me a crumpled receipt, apologized for having shaky handwriting, smiled, and left,” she wrote next to a picture of the note her new friend had given her.

Chris seemed to be honest about his life, but Casey quickly realized there was something he didn’t want to say until they were about to part ways. Even so, he couldn’t say it to her face. Instead, he quickly wrote it down on the crumpled paper she opened after they said goodbye.

“Today I wanted to kill myself, but now I won’t because of you. “Thank you, lovely person,” said the note. Casey was surprised by what he said, but she was also glad that her simple act of kindness had saved a life. Casey’s heart was full after a total stranger gave her coffee and a bagel. She shared the experience on social media, where it changed even more people’s lives.

People all over the world were moved by the inspiring story, which was shared hundreds of thousands of times. It was a good reminder that we never know what someone else is going through or how close they are to giving up. More importantly, it showed everyone how just a little bit of kindness and love can give someone a reason to live.

Chris had given up on life because he thought he had no one and no reason to live. Then Casey Fischer came along and showed him the compassion he so desperately needed, keeping him from dying because she was in the right place at the right time and willing to make a difference in someone else’s day. Chris’s life could have been over if they hadn’t met or if Casey hadn’t helped the needy man in front of her.

Imagine what a difference each of us can make if we keep our eyes and hearts open to the needs of others. Sometimes, all it takes to answer someone’s prayers is eye contact, a smile, or in this case, a cup of coffee and a chat. No matter how small the act of kindness is, you should never underestimate its power. After all, it was a $3 cup of coffee that saved the life of one man.