A Florida woman desperate to find a generator to keep her sick father's oxygen supply powered in the wake of Hurricane Irma got exactly what she needed - thanks to the kindness and generosity of a complete stranger.
WFTV reports that Pam Brekke had been waiting for days to buy a generator - even traveling nearly 30 miles to a Lowe's Home Improvement that had received a surprise shipment of about 200 generators ahead of Hurricane Irma.
However, the generators sold out within two hours. Brekke recalled the devastation she felt watching workers load the final unit onto a cart for the customer who was standing before her in line.
She broke down, realizing her father wouldn't have access to the oxygen he so desperately needed.
"My father's on oxygen, and I'm worried about this storm," she said while wiping tears from her eyes.
To her surprise, Ramon Santiago, a customer who had gotten a generator but had not bought it yet, saw Brekke cry and told her she could take his unit.
"He just walked over and said, 'I'll give you my generator.' We all just started crying. It was ridiculous," she said.
"She need the generator," said Santiago, whose first language isn't English. "It's OK. No worry for them."
Overwhelmed, Brekke hugged Santiago, and tearfully thanked him. A heartwarming video of the encounter shows Santiago hugging and comforting Brekke and telling her: "Everything is fine."
"That gentleman was a great gentleman right there," Brekke said. "God will bless that man."
After the story went viral, the two met again for a second news report - once again at Lowe's. This time, however, Santiago returned to the store with Nancy Alvarez, a morning television news anchor at Orlando's WFTV and was presented with a newly delivered generator.
"He really believes that God played a role in all of this," Alvarez said, translating for Santiago. "He's saying, 'let's take this moment that we're all here for each other, helping each other out and extend it beyond the hurricane. This storm is going to be out of here and when it is, let's remember how we feel right now.'"
"I thank God for all the heroes in the world," Brekke added. "I'm so glad that there is still goodness in people."
Numerous stories of unity and compassion in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma have emerged over the past several weeks, from hometown heroes braving the floodwaters to families opening up their homes to displaced strangers.
Military veteran Nick Sheridan drove nearly 200 miles with his big rig to help rescue those stranded in the floodwaters in Texas, ABC News reports. With the help of two other truck drivers, the three of them rescued more than 1,000 people.
"It's been something I hope I never experience again just because it's hard to see," Sheridan said on "Good Morning America" today. "We worked together. We drove through the streets in teams so that if one of us got stuck we had each other to keep moving because you can't see where the gullies are. One of the tractor trailers went into one and almost rolled over so I used the front of my truck to pull him out of the gully because you can't see where the curves are. It's tough."
He added, "My whole life I've kind of been in that civil service role, but being on my own gave me the ability to go where they needed me rather than be stationed to go direct traffic on a street corner or something like that. I was really able to put my equipment to use here being a freelance rescuer."
Meanwhile, realtor Stephanie Fry offered up her own apartment to families who needed a place to stay.
"People walking down the streets with backpacks, trash bags of clothes and babies on their backs. It's really hard for everybody right now," Fry told ABC News, adding that she told one of displaced families staying in her apartment to call or text her if they need anything.
"I really mean that," she said. "I'm right down the street. I'm right here for you guys."
It has been estimated that the storms caused between $150 billion and $290 billion in damage to Texas and Florida. At least 70 people died during Hurricane Harvey, and 22 deaths have been reported in the U.S. from Hurricane Irma.