Erik Kleine is standing on his front lawn with with mother Kathy observing the hectic scene that they’re now accustomed to. As soon as I introduce myself, Kathy asks me if I’d like some ice cream from a Mister Softee truck that just pulled up to hand out snacks to the volunteers. Since its still in the high 80s well after the sun has set, I’m happy to say yes. I spend the next few minutes talking to the Kleines as we eat our ice cream on their front lawn.
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Their backyard is taken up by a massive catering tent, as the family has donated their property for the week. Volunteers and crew members have shuffled through their yard 24 hours a day since Sunday, talking and sharing stories as they relax with a meal. As one volunteer makes her way into the backyard catering tent, she spots Kathy. “Is this your house?” she asks. Kathy nods. “Thank you so much for doing all of this for us!” she says. Kathy and her family are more than happy to help. They’ve known the Lutz family for decades.
“Its a little overwhelming, but its the least we can do for them, they definitely deserve it,” says Erik, who has lived here for all 26 years of his life. “Everyone from the crew has been very nice. They blacked out my mother’s windows so she can sleep.”
“I’ve lived here my whole life, and this is definitely the coolest thing to happen in this neighborhood,” he said.