MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Hurricane Irma is gone but not the uncertainties for so many Floridians who evacuated to the River Region as they make preparations to head back home. In Prattville, community leaders made sure they didn't leave without a full tummy and a dash of hope.
Rich Emery and his family were among the first to arrive at the Doster Center and feast on a plate of barbecue.
"Everybody is bending over backwards to help us," he marveled.
It reminded him it is still true the very best in human nature often comes out during the worst of times.
"It's just wonderful how obliging everybody is," Emery said.
Josh Register spearheaded the herculean effort to gather enough pork and beans to feed hundreds of people.
"It kind of hit me Friday morning 'what can I do to help?' and about 3 o'clock on Friday everything just came together," said Register.
Register says his company Blossman Gas paid for the pork.
This was also a 'thank you' lunch for 60 Prattville city employees who had to work in the storm all day Monday.
"Making sure the streets were safe and the trash was picked up.. so it's kind of two-fold now," said Kellie Cook, director of Parks and Recreation.
Lessons learned from Irma?
"We realize people have to help people," Emery said.
No one understands that more than Michelle Hillman. Hillman volunteered today, repaying the kindness others showed her when Hurricane Katrina destroyed Hillman's new home in Mississippi 12 years ago.
"Probably one of the scariest things we've ever been through.. not knowing how you're going to feed your children," said Hillman.
It turned out Rich Emery is among the lucky ones. His home was spared. Emery heads back to Florida on Thursday and will remember the goodness 'served' up in an Alabama city.
"It worked out," he said.
The Holt Street Memorial Baptist Church on South Court Street in Montgomery also got in the act of offering comfort and food. Church leaders say they will open their fellowship hall tomorrow as well beginning at 6 a.m. serving breakfast to evacuees.