To those that call the state home, it almost goes without saying that the people of Illinois are some of the kindest, most industrious people in the world. Still, when Illinoisans go above and beyond what is expected of them to help others, they deserve to be commended and thanked.

This week, Springfield resident Johann “Joe” Thomas went viral for doing the right thing while working a shift as a server at a local IHOP, where he has been taking care of his regular customers for over 11 years.

Keshia Dotson, who was eating at the IHOP one Saturday in March, witnessed Thomas helping a woman with Huntington’s disease eat her breakfast. Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder that makes ordinary tasks like eating impossible as it progresses.

The viral incident was not the first time that Thomas helped the woman. She and her husband are regulars at the Springfield IHOP. The server noticed that her husband would usually assist her as his own meal became cold. One day, Thomas sat down at their table and offered to help while the man enjoyed his meal. They have followed the same routine ever since.

Joe Thomas’ coworkers have nothing but positive things to say about his kind demeanor and willingness to go the extra mile for IHOP guests. “This is no big deal to him,” one coworker said. “He does this every time. He’s a great coworker.”

Thomas agrees that this sort of thing is second nature for him.

“I really treat people like I want to be treated,” Thomas told CBS news. “I have a soft heart. Everything I do is honestly just natural, besides the way my parents raised me. I don’t think about it. I just do it.” He hopes that people will follow his lead and “pay it forward” by doing good deeds for others.

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