Correction: The original video had a misspelling, which has been corrected.
EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – “The Tuesday that it was so cold…literally from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. lines. I mean, you would have a thought we were in Russia with breadlines, but it was lines for propane.”
Jennifer Webster of the Conscious Community Co-op is remembering the vicious winter storm with its deadly temperatures.
Many folks living in the area of the co-op, Interstate 35 and Waterloo, rely on propane to heat their homes.
With many businesses closed because of the storm, the co-op became one of the few places left during the Siberian slam able to sell propane. Jennifer knew how dire the situation was.
“32 degrees you get blankets and candles and gut it out,” she said. “Five degrees or -11, you die.”
So, she and some employees stood in the dangerously cold weather and filled propane bottles over and over…till their tank ran it out.
Then a delivery truck would refill the tank and they would fill more propane bottles. And it wasn’t just the local folks who rushed to the co-op.
“We had people driving from Texas…from the border…to get propane because a lot of other companies quit filling,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer gave away propane for free to those who just couldn’t afford it. Then word got out to the community about the need for propane, and donations started coming in to help.
“I think it clicked in people’s minds that, ‘Oh, my gosh. This weather is dangerous. These people literally could die or have to choose between heat and hunger.'”
Some donated a few bucks, others hundreds, even thousands of dollars to keep the propane tank full to fill the bottles of desperate residents.
For all she did, Jennifer’s friend Mandy Bergerson nominated Jennifer for First Fidelity Bank’s Pay It Forward award.
“So, Jennifer,” Mandy said, “We nominated you for Pay it Forward because we just so appreciate your tenacity, your hard work and just how much you serve the community.”
Teary-eyed Jennifer thanked everyone and said, “Man, you would see grown men cry…you’d see them say, ‘I haven’t worked in two weeks…and now the $20 I was going to spend on propane, I can go get food.’ It was staggering.”
A fitting reward for a servant’s heart who paid it forward.
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