Ahead of Hurricane Irma, the man gave his generator to a stranger
Even though disaster is ugly, it can really bring people together in so many beautiful ways. Barriers come down, hearts soften, and sometimes it happens right in the middle of a hardware store.
Like many central Floridians bracing for Hurricane Irma, Pat Brekke was trying to get as prepared as possible. She traveled almost 30 miles to the Lowes store in Orlando and was next in line when she saw workers load the last generator onto a cart for a customer who was standing in line before her. You can imagine that sinking feeling.
“My father’s on oxygen, and I’m worried about this storm,” she tells WFTV while wiping tears from her eyes. That’s when Ramon Santiago, a total stranger, came to her rescue. Her gave her his generator. The video posted on Facebook is incredibly touching.
You can hear her sobbing as Santiago embraces her, rubs her back, and tells her, “Everything is OK.”
Brekke holds his cheek at the end of the hug and says, “Thank you.” And adds, “That’s a beautiful man right there.”
The woman says she had been going store to store in search of supplies ahead of Irma, but everything was empty. With her father’s medical condition, you can understand why she was so upset. The best part is that Santiago just randomly approached Brekke without asking or knowing why she was in tears.
“She need the generator. It’s OK. No worry for them,” Santiago, whose first language isn’t English, tells the reporter.
The two shared that tearful embrace and Santiago continued his shopping.
It’s truly remarkable to see these types of stories emerge during times of crisis. Amid the stress of impending catastrophe humans do what humans do best – they connect. Suddenly, the perceived threat of a stranger seems small compared to the magnitude of what’s to come. We need to make decisions quickly. Our walls come down, it’s literally life or death.
Through joyful and relieved tears Brekke says, “I’m very overwhelmed by that man. That gentleman was a great gentleman right there. God will bless that man.”