Tearful surprise for woman who lost 3 dogs in house fire
The décor and the food help bring people together at the Hungry Farmer Steakhouse on 7015 Interstate 35 Access Road.
"It seems like Christmas brings out the good in people," Mara Minx, a 62-year-old waitress said.
Minx has been working at the restaurant more than half her life. She loves this time of year once again. And it's thanks to being two years clean from drugs.
"My drug of choice was cocaine," Minx admitted.
She said it ruined her life. All four of her kids were taken away. She lost almost all her teeth from the drug use. But through the decades of turmoil, she said one friend stood by her.
"I knew she was a friend," Minx told Fox San Antonio's Ryan Wolf. "She didn't want me doing it. She didn't like me doing it. But she never told me no."
Whether it was food for her kids, money to help keep a roof over her head or a compassionate push to get her off cocaine, Minx said her friend and co-worker Rhonda McIntosh's kindness helped save her life.
"I want to give her back what she gave me," she said. "I want to help her out in the hard times."
McIntosh lost everything in a house fire earlier this month on the South Side. A lifetime of memories went up in flames. She also lost three beloved pets who died in the blaze, which firefighters said started from an electrical shortage in the kitchen. McIntosh had no renter's insurance to help start over.
"Nobody should be living like this during Christmas time," Minx told Wolf. "Matter of fact, we came in the other day and offered for her to eat Christmas dinner with us, and she said 'no.' She wasn't even celebrating Christmas this year because she couldn't."
That brings us to this CASH FOR KINDNESS surprise.
"Come here!" Minx told McIntosh when she walked into the restaurant. "Come here!"
McIntosh was called to the restaurant from her hotel room nearby. She was told her check was ready to be picked up. Fox San Antonio was waiting by the kitchen area for her arrival. McIntosh immediately recognized Wolf hiding by the kitchen.
"Is that Ryan Wolf?" she asked Minx.
"It is," she answered.
"I'm Ryan Wolf from Fox San Antonio," he said to her. "It's so good to see you."
Minx explained what this was all about.
"I called him because it breaks my heart to see what happened to you," she told her friend while holding her hands. "I want to give back to you because you helped me through my addiction."
McIntosh started to cry.
"I love you," she tearfully said.
Wolf stepped in to reveal the big surprise.
"She reached out to the CASH FOR KINDNESS program on Fox San Antonio and said you helped her through her drug addiction," he explained to her. "She has her family back. She has a reason to smile this Christmas, and when she heard about your fire it broke her heart."
McIntosh gave her friend a hug.
"I don't believe this she said," while sobbing uncontrollably.
"In my pocket is a stack of money to raise your Christmas spirit," Wolf said to her.
"Oh my God!" McIntosh said with her voice cracking. "Oh my God!"
She started to count the money as tears streamed down her cheeks. "$500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1,000. Oh my God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
She stepped in to give Wolf a big hug and said, "I truly appreciate you all... more than you'll ever know."
Click here to nominate someone for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS award.