Scott Hourie was relaxing at home, enjoying his day off, and sipping his coffee Thursday morning, while an Arctic air mass plunged the Prairies into a deep freeze.
“Watching my Good Morning Football on NFL Network, and I was just kind of browsing Facebook, when I saw the one lady on Fort Sask. Informed [Facebook page],” the lady, Hourie said, was asking the community for help with a car battery left unplugged and sapped of power.
“And, you know, [I] put my boots on, my coat on, and out the door I went and helped her out.” It was then that it occurred to Scott that others in the community might be dealing with the exact same problem. The Alberta Motor Association [AMA] reports it is dealing with a queue of calls for service, given recent snowfall and the extreme cold , with daytime high temperature in the -30°C to -40°C range until at least Monday.
“So, I put a post out there and see if anyone needed any help.”
By the time Hourie returned home, accompanied by his four-legged companion, a good boy named Mr. Apollo, his elderly neighbours called to ask for a boost.
“Their little Kia was frozen solid, so I boosted it about five times, and then got it into the garage for them overnight so the heat can thaw it out.”
The notifications began pinging from Hourie’s phone generated by his Facebook post. By day’s end, he had helped 19 people.
“‘No, no, this isn’t for money. Hot coffee and a handshake is all I’m asking,'” Hourie recounted saying to one of the many folks offering to pay him a cash tip.
Hourie continues pitching in on Friday morning, writing on Facebook, at the time of publication, that he has already boosted six vehicles.
Several people were able to stuff Hourie’s mitts, concealed in a handshake – cool-uncle style – to the sum total of $85. Hourie said any funds raised will be donated to the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank.
“Always pay it forward,” Hourie said, “and just remember that there are people out there that need a helping hand. If you have the ability to do it, it’s by the grace of God, do it.”
Below: photo of a vehicle boost in mid-operation, provided by Scott Hourie.