MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – The rapid beep of the dump truck’s reverse notification was music to Ina Phillips’ ears.
Phillips kept her face glued to the window that gave the best front-row-seat to what she felt was the end of a nightmare she had lived: outside, workers, all volunteers, dug trenches, filled muddied holes and then leveled a path Friday for what would soon be a concrete driveway.
“Wonderful, just wonderful,” Phillips said, as she stood next to her daughter, Cindy, as both women watched complete strangers do good.
“We believe in Nathan. We believe in Nathan. This young man, whatever he says -- it happens,” Phillips said, singing the praises of Nathan -- a man who drove past her home on F.M. 2090 in Conroe.
“I was driving down 2090 and right here where I’m at. She parked her car next to the highway and she started to put plastic on her shoes and she walked down that driveway with her cane,” said Nathan Doyle.
Doyle was driving by when he spotted Phillips walking through her wet, muddy driveway with her shoes covered in plastic.
"I've almost fallen a couple of times, but I've got a quick cane and it's kept me from falling," Phillips said. "It's quite an adventure trying to get from one end to the other."
After stopping to talk to Phillips, Doyle came up with a plan.
"Watching her walk through the mud just ... it hurt me a lot, to be honest," Doyle said. "Everybody else has a driveway. Why can't she?"
Doyle posted his plan on Facebook: Soliciting donations for a new driveway to be laid for Phillips and her daughter and granddaughter, who lives with her. Doyle said he almost immediately was bombarded with questions from people wanting to help.
“It’s a blessing. That’s all I got to say. It’s a blessing,” Doyle said, referring to the response he received – all from strangers who wanted to help.
George Rodriguez was one of those to answer the call. Rodriguez owns a concrete company. He donated the concrete.
“You always help out your neighbors. That’s what I like about Texas, everybody wants to help each other out,” Rodriguez said.
Justin Campbell also came out. Campbell has known Doyle since childhood. He said he didn’t think twice about showing up to help Phillips.
“We’re going to get out and donate as much labor as we can to these people and just do it from the kindness of our heart,” Campbell said.
Kindness is what brought them to Phillips’ aid. It’s because of kindness, too, that Phillips no longer will risk tripping over a mud mound to reach her front door.
“We’ve been going through all of this mud and it just … everybody is shut off down here,” Phillips said, describing her experience.
“This young man just come by and everything is happening,” said Phillips’ daughter, Cindy Woodward.
Along with the driveway, Doyle told KPRC2 volunteers will construct a new porch for Philips, so she’ll be able to sit outside and enjoy her home.