Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Florida man gives a stranger his generator, then Lowe's gives him one for free

Pam Brekke of Sanford Florida did what many Floridians did before Hurricane Irma - she prepared. A generator was tops on Pam's list to maintain her elderly father's oxygen supply in the event of a power failure. She waited in line at the nearest Lowe's, about 30 miles from her home, to buy one of their 200+ generators. The customer in front of her got the last one. Brekke burst into tears.

Ramon Santiago of Orlando had a generator already in his cart. He was walking through the store picking up other items he needed when he saw Brekke break down and cry. Because English isn't his first language, he did not understand the details, just that Brekke needed a generator and didn't have one. He had planned to buy the generator to help his mother take care of his two aged grandmothers, but he offered the generator in his cart to Brekke. She accepted it with hugs and thanks.

Unbeknownst to Santiago and Brekke, Nancy Alvarez, a WFTV morning newscaster who happened to be in line behind Brekke, saw the whole transaction and filmed it with her smartphone. She shared the story on the station's social media within hours. It went viral.

Santiago wasn't aware of it until he walked into a doctor's office several hours later and the nurses stood and applauded him. And it got better. Lowe's management learned Santiago's identity and tracked him down when a new shipment of generators came in. They gave him one for free, their thanks for his kindness to a stranger in need.

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