While Hurricane Florence was bearing down on Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Jaret Huck put his mom's lessons into action. “Love thy neighbor, right? That’s what you’re supposed to do,” Hucks later told reporters. “My mama taught me that a long time ago.”
Hucks put out the word on Facebook: the motel he owns, Midtown Inn and Cottages, was open to hurricane evacuees. For free. Seriously. Not only that, he disregarded his own No Pets policy and allowed families to bring their dogs, cats, turtles, and even a pet squirrel.
Local businesses and individuals got wind of Hucks' generosity. In the days after the storm, donations of food, ice, diapers, and toiletries rolled in, making Midtown an epicenter for relief efforts. To date, Hucks has given away over 1,000 free nights to the area's poorest and most vulnerable families. The local community has provided them three meals a day, plus shoes, clothes, and more.
For his generosity, Hucks was given the national Jefferson Award. While honored by this, he insists his best reward is a more humble one: the crayon-scrawled thank you cards and pictures which now decorate his office.