Northeast Side woman recognized for helping fire victims
SAN ANTONIO —
Jamie Hopkin has trouble forgetting the day when her life turned upside down.
“Devastation," she said, “We lost everything.”
It was back on April 21st when an early morning fire destroyed 12 units at an apartment complex on the Northeast Side.
Hopkin was coming home from a late shift when she saw flames lighting up the sky along Uhr Lane near Perrin Beitel.
“All they had were their PJ's on,” she explained. “My husband didn't even have his shoes on. We got the kids out in time. I would say in 15 minutes the whole apartments were on fire."
While it's been a slow process to get back on their feet, the Hopkin’s family now wants to give back.
They're donating food and extra clothing to a woman who spearheaded help for them when they had nothing but the clothes on their backs.
“It helped so much,” she told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf. “It really did."
Adrienne Bebow was the stranger who reached out to help.
“I just wanted to let you know how much you've helped us and helped so many other people, and it just really means a lot to us," Hopkin told her. “You didn't even know me and it made me feel so special."
Bebow collected food, clothing for her two young kids, kitchen supplies and blankets.
“I wanted to make sure that no one felt the pain that I felt," Bebow explained.
It turns out, her family struggled many years ago.
“No one knows this but when my husband retired from the Air Force, and it's been a little more than 6 years, we were scraping by for two and half months,” Bebow said. “And I hid it from the kids. We lived on mac & cheese and noodles for those two months."
She's helped hundreds of families over the last 3 years.
Bebow started her own food pantry and collects anonymous donations on a “Pay it Forward” Facebook page she started to help people in need.
“It's just grown by word of mouth and it's available year round,” Bebow explained. “I never turn anyone away."
Hopkin believes her kindness is heroic work.
“I just see how much you do for other people and I thought you deserved some recognition,” she told her. “I just wanted to let San Antonio know that there's great people like you."
It's the biggest "thank you" she’s ever received.
Bebow had no idea it was about to get a whole lot bigger.
“I need you to put your hand out here for me," Wolf said.
Hopkin secretly nominated Bebow for the CASH FOR KINDNESS prize.
Wolf handed her a stack of money on behalf of Fox San Antonio.
“$500, $600, $700, $800... Oh my God... $900... Oh my God... Do you know how much food this is going to fill up my pantry with?" she said with tears running down her cheeks. “I have a chest freezer for meat. It's so hard to donate to people. Non-perishables are easy. But to buy someone hamburger meat, you don't know how much this means to me."
In addition to stocking her freezer to help the hungry, Bebow also plans to use her $1,000 from CASH FOR KINDNESS to visit her mother in Wisconsin, who’s suffering from an inoperable heart condition.
She said she wouldn’t have been able to be by her side--if not for CASH FOR KINDNESS.
Click here to nominate someone for the CASH FOR KINDNESS award.