‘A Big City Can Have a Small-Town Feel’

Editor’s note: The Hart family home in Hillcrest Estates was hit by an EF3 tornado in 2019, and then last Sunday, the unthinkable happened — their home was struck by an EF1 tornado. But in the aftermath, Cherie Hart said her neighbors jumped in to help. What follows is her gratitude.

By Cherie Hart

Last Sunday we we’re unfortunately struck by an EF1 tornado and lost a huge portion of the roof and our personal belongings. And sad to say, we were also hit October 2019 too. I read it’s a 1 in 4 million chance to get hit once, so what is it for twice?

But that’s not what this post is about. It’s to tell you about some of the wonderful, caring and giving people in our community, some of which I didn’t know before Sunday.

Immediately my neighbors on both sides reached out to help. The Bernbaum’s secured my damaged car and got it out of the rain. The Topletz’ came and stored some of our belongings at their home so they didn’t get damaged.  And frankly they both gave hugs I just really needed.

Jaynie Schultz showed up, just told me her name was Jaynie and immediately made calls to ensure we would have extra police patrols to ward off looters and her sweet daughter Dahlia brought us a yummy cheesecake. Dahlia offered to help and just a calming presence.

Another neighbor I never even saw or got a name, brought fried chicken for our dinner (we hadn’t eaten since breakfast). If this was you, I want to tell you how delicious it was! We were too weary to even think about food and there it was.

And the next day another sweet (unnamed) neighbor and her pup approached me and asked if she could feed us dinner. She had the best fajitas and fixings delivered to our host’s house. Nothing like great Mexican food to feed the soul and cheer you up!

And last but not least, on Monday our two local ENP officers showed up and said that they would be keeping an eye on the house and then offered to help us pack! Three more officers and a captain also showed up to help! All so friendly and with smiles asked where they could lend a hand and then got right to work. We could never have finished that day without them!

I asked one officer, why they were helping us, and she said they were trying to reach out to the community more and be a part of it. I met six new people that day I didn’t know and probably never would have but for their new outreach!  I think it’s wonderful!

I would like to say a great big heartfelt “thank you” to all of these wonderful folks who went out of their way to help and comfort us! We were so stressed and in shock. If you brought us food, please send me a message with your name so I can thank you personally. And I also wanted to shine a light on our neighbors, whether next door or three blocks away who stopped to say how sorry you were and offered help. Many thanks to you all!  I wished I had gone out and met you all sooner!

Unfortunately, we won’t be in Dallas anymore, and now I’m kinda sad about that. But I’ve learned how a big city can have a small-town feel and give you a warm embrace.

Thank you Hillcrest Forest neighbors. We’ll never forget you!

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