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As Hurricane Irma approached, neighbors relied on each other to prepare

Church group gathered to help neighbors install storm shutters

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Pastor Brad Fink, of the Cross Bridge Church in Rockledge, is this week's Getting Results Award winner.

As Hurricane Irma churned in the Atlantic, most of Florida was preparing for what could have been one of the strongest storms on record.

Jennifer Quimby, of Rockledge, thought she was ready, too. She had a contractor scheduled to install her hurricane shutters days before the projected landfall. But when he got stuck out of state and couldn't honor his appointment, she began to panic.

"At the last minute I was frantic trying to find someone to put up the shutters," she says, reflecting on the days leading up to the storm. "I called around and everyone was fully booked."

Quimby lives in a two story home and had a recent back surgery. There was no way she could install the heavy shutters herself.

That's when she turned to the popular Nextdoor app and found an offer she thought was too good to be true.

"I saw this ad saying, 'We'll put up shutters for free. And you know your initial reaction is oh my gosh this has got to be too good to be true."

Her neighbors from the Cross Bridge Church right down the road were offering to help anyone nearby put up their shutters.

"They were overwhelmed that we were wiling to come out and help a complete stranger with nothing expected in return," church pastor Brad Fink said. "I think people were surprised, genuinely."

Fink and a handful of volunteers showed up and installed the shutters in the rain just as the weather began to turn.

"It was pouring with rain, absolutely pouring with rain when they did it, so that made it extra special. Quimby said  there was no doubt she was going to nominate them for the Getting Results Award after they came to her rescue.

"It touched my heart," she said. "My first thought after they left was they were so special and so nice that I wanted to get them some sort of recognition."

Fink says he can't take credit for thinking of the project, he defers to a higher power.

"We've never done it before, we didn't do it last year for (Hurricane) Matthew," he said. "It wasn't something we plotted out. It just kind of happened but it made sense and everybody I shared it with says yeah we should do this."

They ended up helping 16 families put up their shutters. None, including Quimby, have called back to have them removed.

"I'm very superstitious and I'm thinking that if I leave those up that it will scare off Maria," Quimby said, laughing.


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