When a group of girls noticed an elderly couple living inside of their car in a Walmart parking lot this week, they decided to take action.
Dee and Gordon Head, both in their 70s, and their three dogs spent weeks living in their vehicle in Hudson, Florida, after a job Gordon moved from Texas to take fell through.
With little savings and not enough Social Security income to find a permanent place to live, the two ended up in the parking lot, WTVT-TV reported.
“Everything is kind of hitting us at one time,” Gordon told the outlet, with both he and his wife claiming that they have never been through a struggle like this before.
But the homeless family’s luck profoundly changed when Brandi Dussing, her sister and some friends went shopping at Walmart on Monday. When they noticed their plight, the girls stepped up to the plate to help.
Brandi offered to buy the couple food. And while they at first resisted and said they didn’t want to be a burden, she insisted, saying it just “felt like the right thing to do.”
After the encounter, one of the girls decided to launch a crowd-funding campaign to help raise money for the family. While a $1,000 goal was set, the campaign has already brought in more than $5,500.
“I am collecting money to help them get out of their car and into a hotel with their dogs to get out of this heat, and help them make things a little easier,” wrote organizer Michielle Tubonjic. “The woman has such swollen feet from not being able to stretch out. The man has had heart surgery in the past and shouldnt be living in a car, especially at his age.”
In a fundraising update posted Wednesday, Tubonjic said that she has been “floored” by the response and that, as a result of the large sum of money raised, the couple will be staying in a hotel for the next week.
Gordon expressed his gratitude this week in an emotional interview with WTVT-TV, telling the outlet how much the girls have helped him and his wife.
“The other day I asked God to send us some angels,” he said while breaking down in tears. “And they started showing up.”
The girls are continuing to help the family, with plans to get them into a permanent housing situation. Gordon, who turns 75 on Friday, said he’s also hoping to find a low-intensity construction job.