HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – What started as a winter wonderland for some, quickly grew into a life-threatening situation for others.

“Once the snow really settled in, it was so deep, you couldn’t get out and so I was kind of trapped at home and then all of a sudden the power went out,” said East Texan Terry Cox.

The community stepped up and those with resources started helping in any way they could. People and businesses like restaurant owner Lance McWhorter reached out to anyone in need.

“I think the restaurants, all of us lost so much money over the last year and a half that you know, what’s a little bit for a good cause,” said McWhorter, who owns and is the executive chef of Culture ETX.

He said his home lost power, but his restaurant did not. McWhorter and his wife decided to camp out there and got to work.

“We’re like, we’re down here, so let’s start cooking,” said McWhorter.

With the ingredients he had and with some donations and help from others, McWhorter made stew and let East Texans know through social media.

“It seemed like just an endless line you know, and the people that were showing up here I mean bringing their own containers. I can tell you we went through 25 or 30 gallons of stew,” added McWhorter.

However, that was just the beginning. Once McWhorter learned about all the people stuck in their homes, he found a way to deliver warm meals to them too.

“We had some great regular customers that had four wheel drives and they came out and started helping us and next thing you know we had this network where we were delivering food as far away as you know I think Mineola,” said McWhorter.

He credits a lot of what he was able to accomplish to the kindness of strangers.

“There were probably at least a dozen people that were involved and just the coolest part was we knew maybe three or four of them,” he added.

From warm meals to a warm house, East Texans helped each other in all aspects.

A good Samaritan living in Henderson County, David Newsom, opened up his home to a handful of people during the storm who needed a place to stay.

He said thankfully, they never lost power or water.

“A couple other people said, ‘Look we’re just gonna ride this out.’ I said, ‘You can’t ride this out.’ I said, ‘I haven’t seen anything like this in Texas in my lifetime,’” said Newsom.

He had 15 people inside his Murchison home on the lake. With enough supplies like food, water and blankets, he said all that was left to do was enjoy the snow.

Murchison said they made the most of the rare winter weather, building snowmen and sledding.

“We had a lot of fun and we ended up with these 15 people, we drew a lot closer to. And I believe that when we go through stuff like this, this is one good thing about really about East Texas is a lot of our upbringing was about helping,” added Newsom.

When that help wasn’t easy to deliver during the freeze, another group rolled up in their jeeps ready to tackle the ice and snow.

“We got this awesome opportunity to help others,” said Donnie Till, creator of the 903 Jeep Club.

The only thing the 903 Jeep Club loves more than their modified vehicles, is using them to lend a helping hand. The group of East Texas jeepers did a lot of that during the freeze.

“During the storm I was actually contacted by Anderson County and Smith County about doing transfers for emergency workers, so we came up there. I think there was 15 of us that came up there initially and started transporting nurses back and forth,” said Till.

Stacy Ham was one of the nurses the group helped. She said she forgot her medication at her house while working at an East Texas hospital.  

“She came to the hospital and picked me up, took me home and brought me back so that I could get my heart meds,” said Ham.

The Jeepers came together to help as many people as they could.

“I think there was a little over 400 transfers that we actually did throughout the 903 Jeep Club,” said Till.

The group even pulled cars out that were stuck in the snow and made sure the drivers were safe.

“Most of the time nobody was in the car, but if they were still there with the car, we would hook on to it, pull them out. We actually helped an 18-wheeler out right here on Broadway,” added Till.

All three are very different stories, yet they all share one important message: There are still good people in East Texas and this world.