Curtis Middleton, owner of Middleton Construction in North Cape May, knows a snowstorm can prevent the elderly from leaving their homes.
So Middleton, 50, was out in Atlantic City with his snowblower after last week’s snow, helping dig out a Connecticut Avenue corner home of an elderly couple whose house he raised after Hurricane Sandy.
Even though they were customers, he did not tell them in advance he planned to help out. He just drove up and started removing their snow.
“I look out for a few of my elderly customers. I always go around during the cold, winter months and shovel them out for free. I’ve got two more to go look at crosstown,” Middleton said Friday afternoon. “I’m out here doing God’s work.”
Thursday’s storm caused a great deal of misery in South Jersey with its snow, high winds and freezing temperatures, but many people were there to help fellow residents, whether by helping dig out a driveway, freeing another motorist stuck in a snow bank or simply checking on an elderly neighbor.
Assisting Middleton with his good deeds was Bill Hamilton, 57, who is the owner of PNC Concrete in Pleasantville. They decided to help customers of each business.
Middleton estimates he may have dug out as many as nine people Thursday and was out until 1:30 or 2:30 a.m. Friday in Cape May County. He was looking at digging out another eight from Friday morning through evening in Atlantic County.
Devin Freeman, 20, of Pleasantville, is a thoughtful boyfriend.
Freeman drove from his home to the resort to deliver juice and a surprise box of Frosted Flakes cereal to his girlfriend of three years.
When Freeman arrived at her home on Adriatic Avenue, he saw her house and a neighbor’s residence were still snowed in, so he went to work shoveling.
Freeman didn’t have a problem driving into the resort because he took the Atlantic City Expressway, but he got stuck in the snow twice on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard when he went there to retrieve a new shovel after his first one broke.
After two and a half hours of shoveling, Freeman had cleaned the sidewalk and the path to his girlfriend’s car, but he still had to shovel out her car and a neighbor’s car.
In Pleasantville, Freeman and his father, David Freeman, 60, had to dig out their own residence three times. The final time was due to a snowplow pushing all the snow back where it originally was.
Freeman also has elderly people living next to and across the street from him. He cleared off three sidewalks and a place for a car to be parked for them.
Freeman attributes his generous spirit to his parents raising him right.
Michael Gilliard, 31, of Atlantic City, and his son, Tajhir Cottman, 10, had been shoveling from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday on Wabash Avenue, helping a neighbor who lives in a corner house on the same block as some of Gilliard’s family members.
“I passed by, and I saw that he needed help. … I had nothing else to do,” said Gilliard, who added he was walking to the store and already had a shovel in his hand. “It’s a lot, but I like shoveling.”
After three hours of work, Gilliard was done. He planned to head into the house and relax.