For 26 years, Jenny Ko’s been sweetening the mornings of kids from around Rowlett and Rockwall at the Donut Palace off of Highway 66.
"I've known Ms. Jenny since I was young. I was probably 13 or 14,” said Nicholas Hughes. "She just was part of people's family. She received Christmas cards, graduation certificates. She kept newspaper clippings of any kids that were local and made it to college sports or anything like that."
Now Hughes takes his own kids to her store.
"She just has a way about her of making you feel like you're the most important person,” said Crystal Tamez.
Tamez said her family's been visiting for a few years now.
Like everyone else who walks in her doors, Tamez said Ko knows the names of all four of her kids and their orders.
That’s why when both Tamez and Hughes learned Ko would be temporarily closing the doors to undergo a double mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnosis, they teamed up with the administrator of Facebook’s Rockwallian page, Jared Guynes, to come up with a way to help.
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"When you have someone like that who's only loved and only given and only been happy to everyone, you get really defensive as a community when you hear that she's in some strain,” said Guynes.
After talking with Ko about how much it would cost her to take four to six weeks off of work to heal, Tamez started a GoFundMe to raise $10,000.
"The landlord's going to want his rent. The bills are going to still come out,” said Tamez.
They met it in less than 48 hours.
“I feel so blessed just to be a part of this community and to know that if crap gets real and things get hard, you have this amazing foundation, this amazing community that can surround you and help you,” said Tamez.
A week in, they’d more doubled than doubled it, reaching nearly $24,000.
"Just to see that she made an impact on people, even those who've moved away. They're in Wisconsin. They're in Washington. They're in Oregon. And they're still like, 'Wow. Ms. Jenny. Oh, absolutely I'll donate. Tell me how I can help',” said Hughes.
The organizers said it’s a testament to Ko and a lesson in just how far kindness can go.
According to Tamez, all Ko says she needs are prayers as she prepares for surgery on Monday.
She said she hopes to reopen by the first of the year.