My brother acts like a real life Santa rescuing stranded Minnesotans

Today’s blog is a tribute to my brother.   I don’t know if many of you realize the impact a snowstorm like this can have on a retail business. The timing could not have been worse.  It hit on a Saturday just 2 weeks before Christmas.  This is typically one of the biggest shopping days of the year and today the white out conditions, pretty much wiped out business.   Did I mention my brother is a retail owner??  These are the days you count on to help pay the bills.  The days you need to survive in this tough economy.  But if there’s something you learn in business, you can’t control mother nature.  

Leave it to my brother, on a day that could easily have turned him into a scrooge, he became a real life Santa.

You have probably heard by now that Metro Transit had to pull  its entire fleet of busses off the roads.    The streets and highways were just too dangerous.  This meant a lot of poeple who took the bus to work had no way to get home.

My brother was just leaving work at Rosedale Center to drive across town to Bonaventure in Minnetonka to make sure one of his employees made it home safely.  As he was walking out of Rosedale, he struck up a conversation with a woman who told him, with the bus service cancelled, she was stuck at the mall and didn’t know what to do.  My brother, being the kind soul that he is, was not about to leave the mall and leave the lady behind.  She lived in downtown Minneapolis so he figured he could just drop her off on his way to Minnetonka. And so he did just that. 

After dropping her off, he noticed another woman in a bus shelter by the Guthrie.  He stopped and asked her where she was going.  She said she didn’t live too far away.  He was thinking a few blocks.   Turns out he drove her all the way to Columbia Heights.  

Then it was off to Bonaventure in Minnetonka to pick up the employee he originally set out to take home.   When he got there, another surprise: someone else from another store who needed a ride. How could he say no?  They were both going downtown.

As one of the guys opened the backdoor to get in the car, he found an envelope with 40 dollars in it.  One of the ladies had left it as a token of her appreciation.   Although grateful for the gesture, he could not keep the money.   He did not offer the rides expecting anything in return and therefore decided to donate the money.

After dropping off his final passenger, he had spent four white knuckled hours in his car.  Hopefully tonight ,when he is home trying to fall asleep, instead of worrying about business, he can think about the impact of his random acts of kindness.  

May his actions inspire all of us.

It actually makes me feel kind of guilty that while he was helping people,  I spent the day working on this silly video.  But at least it gives you an idea of the road conditions he was dealing with as he drove all of these people home.