High School Seniors Shovel Neighbor’s Driveway at 4:30 A.m. so She Could Make It to Her Dialysis

Epoch Newsroom
By Epoch Newsroom
March 6, 2019USshare
High School Seniors Shovel Neighbor’s Driveway at 4:30 A.m. so She Could Make It to Her Dialysis
A man digs snow from under his car Jan. 7, 2010. (Derek Blair/AFP/Getty Images)

When the weather forecast called for up to eight inches of snow in their New Jersey community, brothers Brian and Patrick Lanigan immediately thought of their neighbor Natalie Blair.

She depends on dialysis treatments—and that meant the snowstorm could be a life or death situation.

Brian, who works as a local emergency medical technician (EMT), had shoveled the Blair family’s driveway during a storm just a few days earlier, but he knew this time he would be on the job when the snowstorm struck.

It was up to his little brother Patrick to ensure their neighbor would be able to leave her house for the treatment she desperately needs.

Knowing time was of the essence, Patrick opened up his contact list and started reaching out to friends to help out.

Four of his fellow Parsippany High School seniors answered the call and volunteered to spend the night at the Lanigan house just to wake up and start shoveling at 4:30 a.m. local time.

With everyone working together, it took less than 30 minutes to clear the fresh fallen snow.

While they hoped the storm would force their town to cancel classes, they ended up with a two-hour delayed opening, giving them just enough time to rest up before heading to school.

The world might not have known about this simple act of kindness if Patrick’s father Peter Lanigan hadn’t tweeted out a photo.

That tweet, he told CNN, humbled Patrick with all of the attention it generated.

Peter said this act of kindness was not at all out of character for his son and described him as a “small kid with a big heart.”

Shoveling snow is not the only way Patrick helps his community: he is active in his church and at school Patrick is a “peer buddy,” serving as a role model for students on the autism spectrum.

Sheriff Posts Picture of Unknown Man, Wanted for Acts of Kindness

David Talpes didn’t think anything of it at the time. The Georgia man said he was just happy to be chatting with neighbors and meeting new people as he used his specialist all-terrain vehicle to tow cars up an icy hill all day.

However, many people in the County Hall neighborhood were touched—even more so after the story was boosted by social media.

The county sheriff’s office posted pictures to its Facebook page on Wednesday, Jan. 17, asking for help identifying the man they said had been out there all day helping in the Flowery Branch neighborhood.

In the close-knit community, it didn’t take long.

Talpes told Channel 2 that at first, he didn’t have any idea he was being watched.

“Some lady came out and said, ‘Can I take your picture?'” he said.

“Next thing I know, I’m all over social media.”

Big shout out to this citizen down on Union Circle in south Hall. Word is that he's been out there all day helping…

Posted by Hall County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Talpes said his all-terrain vehicle, with its massive wheels, isn’t allowed to be driven on regular streets—except in emergencies.

A car is stuck on the hill at Union Circle, Hall County (Hall County Sheriff)

He thought the icy conditions in Hall County on Wednesday qualified as such an emergency. Fortunately for him, the local sheriff agreed.

“Big shout out to this citizen down on Union Circle in south Hall,” the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.

“Word is that he’s been out there all day helping people who unwisely challenged the hill (gravity is a cruel mistress), using his own utility vehicle, fuel, and back muscles.”

“It’s folks like this that make the world a better place. Thank you!”

Talpes said he helped about 30 people, but is modest about his actions.

“It felt good but I didn’t think anything of it. I loved it. I was able to talk to my neighbors and meet a bunch of people.”

Posted by Hall County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, 17 January 2018

He said he only pulled one person out of a ditch. The majority of the people I helped were at the bottom of the hill and couldn’t drive up.”

Some people didn’t want their cars towed, so he gave them a lift home instead.

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Epoch Times reporter Simon Veazey contributed to this article

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