Sharing Kindness During A Time Of Crisis
MIDLOTHIAN – It was a decision he made from the kindness of his heart.
It was not done for show.
Dennis DeWeerd, owner of Ellis County Barbeque in Midlothian drove to Uvalde last week to deliver 300 meals to the first responders and troopers stationed there at the scene of the May 24 school shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
In DeWeerd’s words he said when he arrived in Uvalde, he was taken to the location of where the troopers were located. It turned out to be just yards from where everything occurred, and he was surprised at how close everything seemed to be as opposed to what it looks like on television.
DeWeerd decided to head to Uvalde when he was talking with a friend who is a first responder. He told his friend he was thinking of taking food to Uvalde. His friend said Deweerd would not actually do it, so DeWeerd did it. He got into his car at 3 a.m. and drove five-and-a-half hours through the night to deliver the barbeque to the Command Center.
When he arrived, he was taken to the Command Center, and he worked out with the Salvation Army that they would serve the food he delivered.
Deweerd said he noticed HEB had sat up at the school site too and was feeding the media with lots of HEB advertisement visible to all.
DeWeerd said he did not take any advertisement for his restaurant.
“I felt a tug at my heart,” he said. “I am very devoted to the troops, and I had to respond to what was going on there.”
Feeling The Emotions
When he arrived at the Command Center in Uvalde, he said he started shaking.
“Everyone has been an armchair quarterback about what happened that day, but until I was there seeing it, I didn’t know,” Deweerd said. “Things could have turned out so much worse and you just don’t know if you weren’t there when it happened.”
DeWeerd said he was humbled by the sight where the shootings occurred. He said he was humbled by the Command Center located right by the door where the shooter walked.
The 20-year Midlothian resident said he is glad he took the food to the troopers in Uvalde.
“No one was feeding the troopers,” he concluded. “It just felt like the right thing to do.”