It was the day after the big Kaikoura earthquake hit, and Carol and Jeff Reardon turned up at the makeshift campground for trapped tourists with a free cooked breakfast for anyone who was hungry.
Crayfish, baking, stew - they had it all - despite their own troubles as residents of the recently shattered town.
When 1 NEWS asked Jeff why they'd decided to help he replied: "It's not hard to be kind aye?", not thinking for one moment he was about to go viral.
His story was viewed over 400,000 times, according to his son Kori Reardon.
That popularity spurred him into action.
He decided to print the phrase onto t-shirts, to raise funds for struggling businesses in the coastal town.
Kori Reardon, who lives in Christchurch and hasn't seen his parents since the quake says: "I think it's a great phrase dad came up with and I robbed it off him and am giving it back out to people."
Selling for $25 on Facebook, they've already sold out of some sizes, raising $6000 so far.
The Kaikoura Information Centre can't keep up with demand, with many departing military and police personnel snapping them up as a memento of their time helping the Kaikoura community.
Jeff Reardon has found all the attention rather unexpected, but he says it's for a good cause, and he doesn't even mind the teasing he's had from his mates.
He just hopes more people buy the shirts to help out businesses struggling with a lack of customers, even though they've managed to re-open.
His final words to 1 NEWS today, perhaps unsurprisingly: "As I say, it's not hard to be kind aye."