After learning of the local soccer team stuck in Austin, Texas, the community stepped up big. The Eastern Washington Surf Soccer Club was stranded with limited resources.
"We're all pretty hungry," said center-back Maggie Perryman of Richland in an interview on Tuesday.
The missed their flight home Saturday not due to the weather, but due to their pilot tapping out on hours.
"We weren't able to secure a flight before the weather ruined everything," said coach Crissie Woods.
From there, mother nature determined their fate. The storm caused the roads too treacherous to travel. People couldn't get to work, so the businesses open were few and far between. Without transportation and the hotel running out of food, food and water became hard to come by.
Water becoming harder to come by... The water pipes burst and the city of Austin posted a warning against bacteria in what running water they had.
"There has been an announcement by the city of Austin to not drink, bathe, brush your teeth or anything out of the drizzling water that's coming out of the faucets," said Woods, "because there is a bacteria in it that will make you incredibly sick."
In order to go to the restroom, hotel guests had to go to the lobby where there was enough pressure to flush the toilet. During their trips down to the lobby, the team noticed people sleeping on couches seeking shelter.
"People didn't have power at their homes and the hotel was helping out," said Woods. "The employees were sleeping in the conference room because they couldn't get home. We've seen the same staff the entire time."
After the community learned of the need and their story started circulating, calls, texts, and emailing stared pouring in.
"After that story was posted," said center midfielder Sorrel Stratford of Richland, "I woke up the next morning, just me personally to a lot of text messages asking how can we help, what's your coaches number... And it was just awesome to see that so many cared."
Their story allowed the community to truly see their was a need and pulled through.
"The families were also able to post it on Facebook," said Woods, "which was able to help it take a whole other level of sharing and understand that when we expressed that we were hungry and stranded, that people didn't really grasp the hungry and stranded-ness that was existing... That there weren't vehicles, there were open roads. There weren't places to eat."
They received a hot meal right away. Hot meals, groceries, and water started showing up to their hotel with connections made from the news story on NBC Right Now. Churches, soccer organizations, and even others across the state also stranded in Texas did what they could to help.
"Every time we got another text saying that a meal was coming," said Woods, "it was such an exhale. Yesterday, when I got the message that chicken and mashed potatoes was coming for the girls, it was such a relief because that's all you're thinking about all day long is, 'Are they going to have a warm meal?'"
That first warm meal came as a relief to the players.
"It was awesome," said Stratford. "We were so thankful because it had been a few days since we had a normal meal."
The outpouring of donations didn't go to waste. With the leftover food and water, the Eastern Washington Surf was able to help others at their hotel in the same predicament.
"We have just been accepting of anything people send our way," said Woods. "It's heartbreaking. We see kids and toddlers that are struggling to eat. Anything that we've been able to share, we've been paying it forward. The donations have not been going to waste at all."
"I think that's really selfless of them," said Stratford about those the helped and donated, "to reach out and put their time and energy to help us even if they don't know us that well."
The team is scheduled to fly back to Eastern Washington Saturday morning.