GRAFTON, Ohio — Sometimes the worst of circumstances can bring out the best in people. A Northeast Ohio family found that out during the peak of this week’s superstorm.
Just after midnight Tuesday as Superstorm Sandy pounded Northeast Ohio, the power went out at Bob and Sue Lawwill’s home in Grafton. That meant their sump pump wouldn’t work, and their basement started filling with water.
“We came down, and so we bailed and bailed and bailed and finally at 3:00, it was just too much, it was coming in every drain,” said Sue Lawwill.
Sue said around 5:30 a.m. she started driving around to stores looking for a generator, and had no luck.
Frustrated, she returned home and started calling around, eventually reaching the Home Depot on Berea Road in Cleveland. She talked to the store manager.
“He says our policy is we’re not allowed to hold anything, and I started to cry ’cause at that point, I had been up since 6:00 the morning before and with everything going on, I was frazzled and didn’t know what to do,” Sue Lawwill said.
Sue was stunned by what the manager told her next.
“That’s when he said he was gonna go home, get his personal generator and bring it to us so we could use it,” she said.
“Could not believe it was happening, I honestly thought the guy was kidding,” said her husband, Bob Lawwill.
The manager was true to his word and brought his generator and gasoline to their home.
“Once he delivered the generator, we plugged it in, we turned it on and there was two sump pumps running for probably two hours, just to get it down to where we could actually still walk in the basement,” Bob said.
Home Depot released a statement which reads:
“Giving back is a fundamental value of The Home Depot and a passion for its associates. We are focused on taking care of our customers whether it was before the storm or now with recovery. This is a great example of how we live our values every day and especially through tough times when our customers need us most.”
“When the time comes and we’re able to get a generator, we’ll do the same. Anyone who needs us, we’ll be there, because we know what it’s like, and we know what it’s like to receive a great gift,” Sue Lawwill said.
The store manager did not want to speak publicly about his good deed.
The Lawwills said he told them that the last time he used the generator was during Hurricane Katrina in Mobile, Ala., seven years ago.