MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis firefighter Adam Graves was all set to take his family to San Diego for a much-needed vacation when COVID-19 hit hard.

He made the decision to cancel their plans.

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“We decided, you know what, we can’t go anywhere, it’s a different time right now, maybe the answer is to reach out and see who could use our help during this time,” Graves said.

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He says he’s used to being the calm people look for when they are in distress in his work as a firefighter. He wanted to use that to help senior citizens who may need that calm in the wake of this COVID-19 storm.

“Growing up in a Native American household, and now being a firefighter, it’s kind of been always that innate need to help elder people, and just to help our people in general,” Graves said.

He used his social network to reach out to see if there was a need.

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“I got a few inbox messages just saying, ‘Hey, I normally wouldn’t ask for help but I really could use your help right now,'” he said.

Graves took the money he was going to spend on his family and fulfilled the request of people he did not know. He says a few elders needed groceries, while others were looking for help for their senior neighbors.

“It’s been nothing outrageous. It’s been basic necessities that people have needed,” Graves said.

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He says this is a great lesson for his children: 10-year-old Aidan, 7-year-old Alliana and 4-year-old Cooper. He hopes others decide to be a blessing to people in their community during these uncertain times.

“I would challenge everybody, just to do for others. And it’s the old adage of treat others how you want to be treated kind of thing,” Graves said. “I challenge everyone to step out of their comfort zone and help somebody who might need it.”

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Graves says he is a firm believer that love heals. He says it will take all of us displaying a love for our fellow neighbors to beat this outbreak.

Reg Chapman