From free shampoos to free food, Dorian brings out best in some Islanders
'We're Islanders, this is what we do'
The aftermath of post-tropical storm Dorian has brought out the best in Island hospitality.
Islanders have been helping in the cleanup and offering support to those in need or without power.
Pam Smallman, manager at the Summerside Superstore, said about 150 people took the store up on its offer of a free hot lunch and coffee Monday afternoon.
"Some of these folks had been without power, they had indicated for 36-plus hours, so really happy to have a hot meal and we were really happy to be able to do that for them," she said.
Some came in to charge their phones and gather together with people in the community.
"It's been really overwhelming and a little bit emotional for some folks," she said.
Shawna Ryan, the owner-operator of Tangerine Hair and Spa in Charlottetown, was offering a free shampoo and blow dry to anyone without electricity.
The hair stylist got the idea after seeing an acquaintance on social media mention that her husband was winning the husband of the year prize because he was heating up water on the barbecue so she could wash her hair before work.
Ryan thought she'd reach out to see if anybody else was in the same situation and if they wanted to pop in for a quick wash and blow dry. The response was immediate.
"It's been very good. We've had several people come in. I just think it's nice to help out whenever you can," she said.
Ryan said customers have been very appreciative of the free service.
"They were saying that they're starting to feel pretty itchy and just didn't have that clean, fresh feeling so to have to go to work feeling like that wouldn't be very nice. So I think we picked a few people up today."
Ryan was happy to give a free shampoo and blow dry to a lady with no power who was working back-to-back night shifts.
I feel good about myself now. I know it sounds ridiculous. A hair shampoo can change things.— Sophia Djuk
"She was disappointed that she wouldn't be able to go home and shower and wash her hair before she went back to work. So she came in and we just gave her a shampoo and blow dry and she went home to have a nap."
After spending days with no power, Sophia Djuk from North Rustico was delighted to be pampered at the hair salon. She'd made an appointment last week for her son and was surprised when the staff offered to do her hair as well, for free.
"It's beautiful. It's wonderful having your hair washed by somebody else with warm water. I feel good about myself now. I know it sounds ridiculous. A hair shampoo can change things. But I feel good today. It's nice, I'm grateful."
Djuk said her trip to the salon gave her more than just a nice shampoo and blow dry — it left her feeling like she mattered.
"It just proves again that Islanders, they think about other people not just themselves. They're not selfish. It's nice. They've made me feel like I'm important, with a simple hair wash. It's crazy."
David Anderson of Anderson's Automotive in Summerside even let a couple from Alberta stay in his shop for the weekend because they had a broken axle on their camper.
The couple arrived Friday at about 4 p.m., but the axle couldn't be fixed until Monday. So Anderson let them stay in their camper and hooked them up to power and water outside his shop.
Moved camper inside
But when news hit Saturday morning that Dorian was becoming a stronger storm, he moved the couple, camper and all, inside the shop.
"We got them all settled, hooked up their water inside, their power inside, gave them the alarm code and a key and said 'hope everything's fine.'"
He checked in on them over the weekend and said the couple was overwhelmed. He said they offered to get a hotel but Anderson would have none of it.
"We're Islanders, this is what we do," he said. "Everybody helps everybody all the time. Don't have to have a storm to do it."
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With files from Tom Steepe, Sarah Keaveny-Vos and Cody MacKay