MISSION, Texas (KVEO) — As many still assess the damages left from Hurricane Hanna, one woman has already done her part to help the owner of a roadside fruit stand in Mission.
Hurricane Hanna made landfall north of the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, July 25. The damages from the heavy rain and wind could be seen throughout the area.
Cassandra Rodriguez was driving down State Highway 107 when she noticed a demolished fruit stand on the side of the road.
“I felt I had to do something about it,” said Rodriguez. “His fruit stand just stood out, it was underwater, so I told my boyfriend, let’s do a u-turn because I need to take pictures of this stand, I don’t know who owns it, but I’m going to find out because I’m pretty sure they were going to need the help.”
Rodriguez took to social media to track down the owner of the demolished fruit stand.
82 Facebook shares later, she found Marcelo Vazquez, owner of Marcelo’s Fruteria, who only just started processing the damages to his stand.
“When I saw the stand, I thought, now what am I going to do. I never thought my stand would be destroyed,” said Vazquez.
Rodriguez met with Vazquez the next day to help separate the losses and the salvageable parts of the stand.
The connection she felt with Vazquez was immediate.
“He’s a Christian himself, and growing up my partents always taught me to do the right thing and stuff. And it is so crazy because like didn’t even know this man and then I felt like I knew him because our views are so alike,” said Rodriguez.
Vazquez put his faith to work, “I said, look, it’s in God’s hands, God takes care of things.” Meanwhile, Rodriguez worked in the background, sharing his story on social media and organizing a fundraiser on Vazquez’s behalf. The story quickly went viral, and the funds started accumulating.
“We managed to raise $5,000 in 9 hours,” said Rodriguez.
The following day, Vazquez sat with his partner in his makeshift stand, waiting to sell goods he had left after the hurricane. Rodriguez went by and surprised Vazquez with the check.
“Today he has the funds already to reconstruct everything,” said Rodriguez.
Vazquez is grateful to primarily God, and the people who donated, and will begin reconstructing his stand in the weeks to come. Marcelo’s Fruteria is located on Highway 107 in Mission, between Glasscock and Stewart road.