POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – The offer went out on Facebook.
Walter Atkins Jr., of Atkins Paving in Pompano Beach, posted a video, announcing that he and his workers would help people get ready for Hurricane Dorian.
The message was straightforward:
“Listen, if you’re in the Pompano Beach area, and you need help boarding up your house, and you have not boarded up your house yet, if you’re a single parent or a mom or elderly person, give us a call for free help and hurricane assistance.”
The video went viral.
“The video was shared over 3,000 times,” Atkins said. “Almost a half a million views on Facebook. I had 1,000 phone calls in about five hours, and I also had about 700 text messages.”
Atkins says he had no choice but to make good on his promise.
Over the last two days, he said he and a crew of seven helped 15 families in need across Broward County. They cut plywood and installed it on doors and windows and helped put up unwieldy metal shutters.
Some of the people he helped were overwhelmed families and older women who live alone.
“It’s a lot of work. But what is work when it’s work worthwhile?” Atkins mused.
Atkins Pavers is a family company started by Atkins' father, Walter Atkins Sr.
According to the company’s website, the company has been serving South Florida for more than 30 years. Atkins Jr. said it’s just about being a good neighbor.
“It means a lot, because I was raised on the principle that you have to be a blessing to individuals and always pay it forward,” Atkins said.