After winning a Super Bowl prize of more than $100 last Sunday, 11-year-old Ava Zimmerman originally had plans to save it. But when her mom told her about the emergency workers, firefighters and police officers who were working long hours in the cold after the river flooded, she wanted to do something special for them.
“It’s really cold outside and, they have to make sure that everybody’s okay out here,” Zimmerman said. “And so if they have something warm, they’re full and they can stay outside and save people.”
So on Friday, Ava and her mom went grocery shopping. Her Super Bowl winnings covered about six slow-cookers full of homemade chili, which they dropped off to the emergency services building downtown.
Other families brought snacks, bottled water and coffee just to make sure law enforcement had everything they needed.
Portland’s mayor, James E. Barnes says it was heartwarming to see people responding to calls for help.
“People appreciate what other people are going through,” Barnes said. “There are times, whether it’s the tornado, the bad weather, the flooding and so forth. And there’s just a lot of communication among the people in the city.”
But that’s not the only act of kindness Portland put together. Across town, the McDonald’s set up a jar for donations to the city’s community fund. The owner of the McDonald’s says they plan to match all the donations they get.
The mayor says it’s just what they do in Portland.
“It’s a very close-knit community but it’s based on the fact that everybody just has the appreciation for their neighbors and the other residents and in the city.”