Acts of Kindness Shine Bright in Storm Aftermath

While Sunday’s storms left hundreds of thousands of North Texans in the dark, they also shed light on acts of kindness across recovering Dallas, where neighbors and strangers came together to lend one another a helping hand.The worst of the power outages was past, officials said Tuesday,, but the task of clearing branches from yards and spoiled food from refrigerators continued.Two days after the storm passed, it was easy to see all the efforts -- big and small -- that showed the community’s compassion for those whose lives were hardest hit. The response has generated an outpouring of gratitude from people who found help when they needed it most.For Chelsea Gonzalez, the moment of greatest need came immediately after the storm hit.Gonzalez thought a tornado was going overhead when she pulled her car over in an Addison shopping center on Sunday afternoon.Hail, rain and 70 mph wind gusts had made it almost impossible to drive, so Gonzalez, a Frisco resident travelling with her 3-year-old niece and her best friend, Morgan Pritchard, stopped under a tree to protect her brand new car from hail damage. Then a tree fell through the sunroof.“The roof collapsed in and I was panicked, but I had to stay calm because my niece was in the back seat,” Gonzalez, said.The tree barely missed all three people in the vehicle. Gonzalez leapt from her car into torrential wind and rain, pulling her niece from the back seat and running to the closest business: The Lowkey Poke Joint.But Pritchard was trapped inside the car by a fallen branch..Gonzalez dropped her niece off with the staff of the restaurant , then ran back out to help her best friend of 12 years. She tried to lift the tree and couldn’t.“Then, a man appeared, and he was like a muscle man. He lifted the tree enough for her to get out of the car, ” she said.That man was Jose Araujo, the chef at Lowkey, who ran into the storm with a customer to rescue Pritchard from the car.Gonzalez and Pritchard both said they only suffered minor injuries from shattered glass, and Gonzalez’s niece was unharmed.Lowkey owner Sam Handa, cared for the trio, giving them food, blankets and having one of his employees drive them to Target for dry clothes.“He was amazing,” Pritchard said. “We were there for like six hours, and he really took care of us.”But Handa deflected all praise.“I don’t think we really did anything out of the ordinary that anybody else wouldn’t do,” Handa said. “We were just being good Samaritans.”  Continue reading...

Read More

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us