Hurricane Irma has passed, but its economic impact will be longstanding. Between lost economic output and property damage, Moody’s Analytics estimates that the total economic cost of Hurricane Irma could amount to $83 billion. Many lives were lost in the storm. Over the past week, countless bleak news stories have streamed onto social media platforms. It’s likely that they will continue to do so with the amount of damage that this catastrophic hurricane did. This is a collection of a few random acts of kindness related to Hurricane Irma to allow for some relief from the relentless bad news.

More than a meal

During an extended trip to avoid Hurricane Irma, Deanna Feist and her husband went to eat at the Old Mill restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN.

On their way there, they were forced to turn off their car when all of the lights on their dashboard lit up. They asked the man in the car next to them for a jump, and he happily helped them out. Just as Deanna was about to add their names to the waitlist at the restaurant, the man who had helped them jump their car introduced himself as the manager to her husband. He told them he’d been running the place for 23 years. He promised to seat them as quickly as possible. They got a table faster than they could believe, and their food was out even faster. At the end of the meal, their waitress placed an envelope on their table instead of a bill. She told them that the envelope was from the manager and that their meals were on the house. If that wasn't a big enough random act of kindness, inside of the envelope was a letter, two $100 bills, and a voucher for free meals at the restaurant.

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The letter read;

"You are probably here to escape the Hurricane Irma. My brother lives in Tallahassee, FL. I am saddened to see such devastation in this beautiful state. I hope everything will turn out ok for you guys. Enclosed please accept my gift to you in case you need to buy a battery for your car. Also, I am enclosing a meal ticket so you can come back to eat here.

Good luck and thanks for visiting my restaurant

Mo Tamaddoni

Gen Mgr"

Deanna shared his random act of kindness in a public post on Facebook “so that the world might see how generous others can still be” and because “There are still good people out there!” She promised to pay it forward, referring to Mo as a Godsend and thanking him for the “act of selflessness and generosity” that “touched her heart.”

Generating random acts of kindness

Pam Brekke of Sanford, Florida spent days scouring stores for a generator to prepare for Hurricane Irma. She said she spent all that time “staring at empty store shelves.” Brekke heard that a Lowe’s Home Improvement in Orlando, about 30 miles from her home, had received a shipment of almost 200 generators.

She was overjoyed, and immediately hurried to the store. When she arrived, she began to sob as a Lowe’s employee helped a man load the last generator into his cart right in front of her in line. Ramon Santiago, a bystander who had gotten a generator but had not paid for it yet, knew it was time for a random act of kindness. He didn’t know that Brekke’s father was on oxygen; he didn’t know anything except that she was crying because she didn’t get there on time to get a generator. He just wanted to be someone who helped someone else. He offered her his. He said, “She needs the generator,” and gave her an encouraging hug. If only everyone was so easily motivated to participate in random acts of kindness!

Animal acts of kindness

Kerry Sanders and his team from the Today Show were reporting about Hurricane Irma from Florida’s Gulf Coast when they saw a man carrying a baby dolphin toward the ocean. That man had discovered that baby dolphin half a mile away on a sidewalk, picked it up, wrapped it in a blanket and carried it to the water as quickly as he could. Sanders stopped what he was doing to get into the water with the man who had started this random act of kindness so they could hold the dolphin and give it a chance to rest. After about 15 minutes, they attempted to guide the dolphin out into the ocean, but it kept getting pushed back to shore by the powerful waves. However, after multiple attempts, they were able to help the baby out to sea.

Less than an hour after the pair helped to save that dolphin, Sanders got the chance to help another dolphin! This time, it was an adult dolphin that needed assistance. When Sanders arrived, the dolphin was panting and obviously distressed. A small crowd gathered, and the bystanders helped him get the animal back to the water. He instructed them on where and how to grab the animal in order to avoid injuring it. He said, "I explained, 'This is what we’re going to do. We’re not going to pick it up by the dorsal fins or pectoral fins. We’re going to get our arms underneath it and lift it up altogether, 1-2-3, and then we're going to walk it out.'" That’s exactly what they did. Once the animal was in deeper water, a few of the volunteers remained in the water to hold the dolphin and allow it to rest and catch its breath while the rest of the volunteers swam back to shore. After a few minutes, the dolphin was able to venture back into the ocean. Even though they all had their own things to deal with because of Hurricane Irma, a random group of strangers came together to complete this random act of kindness!

Anna's Acts of Kindness

Countless random acts of kindness have been occurring because of Hurricane Irma, but how many of them have involved Disney princesses saving a co-star’s family or singing with evacuees? Kristen Bell, who voiced Anna in Frozen, is currently filming in Orlando. When she found out she couldn’t evacuate, she posted Instagram that she was “trying to stay positive but cautious, and trying to help those who need help prepping.” She also mentioned that “it was beautiful to see” that every person she passed was assisting someone else. She joined in on the random acts of kindness in multiple ways. She discovered that Frozen co-star Josh Gad’s family was in Hollywood, Florida, and immediately secured a hotel room for them where she was staying. Gad took to Instagram to share the story and a picture that Bell had sent him of her and his parents. He raved about how grateful he was for Bell’s random act of kindness, saying that she “literally saved my parents and my entire family tonight from #hurricaneirma. When they were stranded in Florida, she got them a hotel room at her hotel in Orlando and saved them, my brothers, my sister-in-law, niece, and nephew.” He also said, “They don't make them like this girl. Thank you, Kristen. You are truly an angel sent from above.” Kristen didn’t stop there. Next, she went to a shelter to perform the Frozen hit “For the First Time In Forever.” She even pulled an evacuee up from the crowd up onto the stage to sing Elsa’s part with her!

Spread the love with a Hurricane Irma-related random act of kindness of your own

If you can volunteer to help the victims of Hurricane Irma, do it! Although you may not be able to go and volunteer, you can donate to organizations that are helping those who have been impacted by Hurricane Irma to rebuild. Every random act of kindness matters!