DALLAS — Jean Smith, 82, prayed for help to clean away the nearly 3-foot snow drifts that covered her car at the Meadows Apartments.
Her prayers were answered Friday as a determined group of 10 Dallas School District teachers and their children arrived at the senior citizen facility.
Armed with shovels and brushes, they removed snow left by Winter Storm Stella, which blanketed the region with more than 2 feet.
“This is just wonderful,” Smith said as she stood with a broom in hand watching the volunteers. “I offered to pay them, but they said no.”
The cleanup effort was organized by Kristin Stout, a Dallas Middle School teacher.
On Thursday night, Stout read a Facebook request for help from former Shavertown United Methodist Church pastor Drew Cottle.
“He was asking for someone to come and dig out his mother’s car,” Stout said.
Stout and her fellow teachers knew they had the day off, so they seized the opportunity to help out not just Cottle’s mother, but all the residents whose cars were snowed in at the Meadows center in Dallas.
“We figured if she needed help, others did too,” Stout said.
In two hours, she estimated they freed nearly a dozen cars from the snow.
The group wanted to complete the good deed quietly and leave. But some residents gathered outside to watch the volunteers clean one car after another. Then someone tipped off the media.
Stout said the group didn’t want a lot of attention to avoid negative criticism due to the ongoing stalemate between the teachers union and school district.
But the contract fight was far from the minds of those who benefited from the snow help.
“We are so lucky,” Rita Clinton, a Meadows resident said. “My nephew can’t get out to help me yet.”
It took the volunteers about 45 minutes to completely free her vehicle.
Marla Martin, a special education teacher with the Dallas School District, said everyone has been “super kind.”
“I think we are providing some entertainment for the residents as well,” she noted.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.