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/ Source: TODAY
By Ali Gostanian

An Alabama man’s simple act of kindness has gone viral on social media.

On April 18, Jamario Howard, 23, of Lincoln, Alabama, shared a heartwarming story of his dinner experience with friends on Facebook.

Howard was eating dinner at Brad's Bar-B-Que in Oxford, Alabama, with two friends last Thursday when he noticed an older woman sitting alone at the booth to their left.

“My exact thought was, ‘Dang, I’d hate to eat by myself,’” Howard said in an interview with NBC News.

Howard said he consulted his friends and they decided he should join the woman at her table.

He said he approached the woman, asking if he could sit with her. She agreed and introduced herself as Eleanor.

Howard said that Eleanor told him all about her grandchildren, the volunteer work she does at a local hospital and the activities she and her husband used to do together. She also shared that her husband had passed away and that the next day, April 19, would have been their 60th wedding anniversary.

“I immediately gave her my condolences and invited her to come eat with us,” Howard said.

The group of four spent about 45 minutes enjoying a meal together, talking about everything from family to sports.

“It was a good in-the-moment thing,” Howard said. “It really changed our outlook.”

The viral Facebook post has been shared over 69,000 times and garnered over 25,000 comments. One commenter wrote, “We hear so much to be sad about in our world, it's wonderful to know that there are others making a positive difference! Bless you for this special act of kindness!”

Howard said that he has reflected a great deal on the special dinner.

“Always be kind,” Howard explained. “It can go a long way for you and a long way for them.”

Howard said that he has seen Eleanor a few times since their dinner last week. The two plan to keep in touch.