The power of giving: Eugene woman gets gift of lifetime

A family who had their generator stolen this weekend has a brand new unit thanks to an employee at Lowe's.

Posted: Mar 5, 2019 6:14 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2019 10:25 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- It's been a week of highs and lows for Emily Russell and her husband. They were one of thousands of families to lose power and heat after last week's snowstorm and had their generator stolen, but then employees at a local Lowe's reached out to help.

"I feel violated," Russell said after the theft. After days of trying to stay warm, they made their way to a hotel. When they returned home, the generator was gone.

RELATED: Eugene woman feels 'violated' after generator stolen from her home

"They must need it worse than we do, but I just feel bad that we were already in distress because of all the trees down and everything and they would steal from us," she said.

On Monday night, KEZI 9 News got a call that left our team feeling warm and fuzzy.

"A man named Tyler Jones from KEZI called me and said he had a surprise for me," Russell said.

That surprise? A new generator. John Fimple said when his employees at Lowe's told him what happened, a light bulb went off.

"It was a no-brainer. It was immediate, and she had to have it," Fimple said.

After last week's storm, generators were a hot commodity. Shelves were emptied within hours. Fimple bought one, just in case.

"If we had 500 generators, we would have sold them all," Simple said.

When he heard about Emily's situation, he jumped in to help.

"It's the right thing to do," Fimple said. "And I would hope that if I were in that type of scenario, I would hope that someone would reach out and help me out."

Russell said once they get their new generator home and hooked up, they'll use a chain to secure it.

She said she's so thankful for the act of kindness that she never expected.

"I couldn't believe it 'cause I don't ever remember anybody every offering me something. We've both worked hard for everything we have and that was really a super surprise," she said.

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