Stranger’s Act of Kindness helps Old North Dayton family’s tornado recovery

It’s been a little more than a year since 15 tornadoes ripped through the Miami Valley on Memorial Day 2019. Thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed that night. One of those homes belonged to Old North Dayton Resident, Christine Creager.

Back in May, one year after the outbreak, Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs met Creager while shooting a special story surrounding the impacts of COVID-19 on the tornado relief effort. “Christine is such a strong woman. To lose so much and still have faith is inspiring,” said Vrydaghs.

Creager’s home at the time was being demolished for a full rebuild. Her story was one that detailed the horror of that night, the mental scars that remain, and the struggle of putting the pieces of her life back together.

“I have a new compassion for homeless people,” said Creager.

A Channel 7 viewer saw Creager’s story and felt moved to give back. As an act of kindness, and remaining anonymous, this viewer wanted to donate her stimulus check to Creager.

Vrydaghs coordinated with the anonymous donor to surprise Creager with the money. Overcome with emotions, Creager struggled to find words. “I’m shocked. I’m speechless. Thank you so much! Whoever has done this. I pray that GOD blesses you tremendously.”

Paying it forwards was first on her mind. After a small donation to her church and local homeless shelter, Creager will put the rest of the money toward her home that is expected to be completed this fall.

If you or somebody you know is still struggling to rebuild after the Memorial Day tornadoes, call the United Way helpline at 211 for free tornado relief assistance.