When large branches from an overhead tree came crashing down, a 90-year-old woman inside a neighboring home was left without heat and a telephone – but with one humble idea.
While this idea was being toiled with, Paul Bailey was realizing that he had not been able to get in touch with his elderly aunt for several hours.
He and his wife tried calling, as they always do, but each time they say the phone just rang and rang.
“I just thought something ain't right,” Bailey said.
His own steep and icy driveway prevented Bailey from checking up his aunt.
“So I looked up in the phone book for the Conestoga Police Department,” he said.
Chief John Fiorill answered the phone.
“My two corporals were running from call-to-call so I said, 'Hey I'll take care of this one,” Fiorill said.
The problem? Bailey knew how to get to his aunt's mobile home, but he didn't know her address.
So for almost four hours, Fiorill worked his way around downed trees and closed roads until something caught his eye.
“I saw a cardboard sign in the window, but you couldn't make it out because it was written in skinny magic marker,” he said.
Evelyn Ovens knows it well. She made the sign.
“I wrote on there 'help me' and put it out on the porch on my storm door,” she said.
Ovens had been sitting in the cold with her dog, Sporty, for nine hours.
“The dog was already wrapped up in a dog jacket. She was concerned,” Fiorill said.
Ovens warmed up at the police station before she went to her nephew's home, all thanks to a caring call, a dedicated officer, and a cardboard sign.
“You know someone is there to help you, and that's a good feeling,” Ovens said.