MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nearly a million people have paused to watch a northeast Minneapolis man cross the street. The Facebook video shows how neighbors help Jerry Quarnstrom, who is blind and hearing impaired.
A woman getting her hair done at the Aveda Institute captured the scene. A guard from the Aveda Institute meets Jerry and escorts him across Central Avenue.
Here is the backstory to the now viral video.
On the corner of a busy northeast Minneapolis intersection sits the Aveda Institute.
On Friday, Tina Mack, sat inside to get a hair touch up from her niece.
“Saw [the security guard] walking across the road with his arm on him, so I turned on my video, caught it on tape,” she said.
Jerry is blind and hearing impaired and his legs make it hard for him to walk with a dog, so he walks with his neighbors.
Patty Liepold works at the Aveda Institute.
“It’s kind of like an inherited thing, anyone that comes works here knows that you may have to walk Jerry across the street,” she said. “It’s just part of it. It’s the right thing to do.”
It’s an attitude that’s shared in the neighborhood.
Employees from Chuck and Don’s and Lund’s escort him daily, block by block.
Mack was impressed.
“Everybody just pitches in and does their share, I thought it was touching,” she said.
So did hundreds of thousands of others, when they watched her video on Facebook.
Jerry’s escort, Mark Jara of Allied Universal Security, says helping Jerry is always the best part of his day.
“It’s just really hard for Jerry to hear, I feel like he needs a little help,” Jara said.
But it means a lot.
That’s what Jerry himself told us.
“Just thank you guys for helping me,” he said. “I do need your help, so thank you so much.”
His wife, Ali, who is also blind, has a message, too.
“That’s huge, that means a lot for people to help us,” she said.
Reflecting on her neighbors who truly know how to share, Ali says: “It’s Minnesota nice!”
After posting the touching video to Facebook, Mack says she’s been flooded with comments and stories from people who have helped and loved Jerry through the years.
She says one person’s comment sums it up: “If we all just did one thing like this each day, we could change the world.”