CARIBOU, Maine — Friday morning started off like any other for Freshies convenience store cashiers Allyson Adams and Amber Madore.
But by 8:30 a.m. the women and several local men had shown a stranded woman why Aroostook County is known as a place where people will drop everything they are doing to help someone else, even a stranger.
Madore and Adams were working at the Caribou store’s front cash register when a woman came rushing in. Her car had a flat tire and she didn’t have a tire iron, but she needed to get to a job interview.
After Madore unsuccessfully tried changing the tire using her tire iron, Caribou resident Jim Morrell pulled into the parking lot, saw what was happening and offered his own tire iron. He soon got help from Anthony Collins, who was repairing a Pepsi machine at the store.
Adams did not hesitate and handed the woman her keys, letting the woman, whose name none of her rescuers knew, use her car to go to the interview.
“She started crying and said that she really needed a job,” Adams recalled late Friday morning. “So I said, ‘Just take my car and go.'”
In a Facebook post Friday, Collins recalled speaking to the woman before she left, though he did not learn her name.
“We told her to get to the job interview and her vehicle will be waiting for her when she gets back,” Collins said.
By the time Caribou resident Tim Ouellette arrived, the woman was already gone, but he lent a hand to Morrell and Collins.
Ouellette had just left Tim Horton’s on a work break when he saw the scene at Freshies. He called Adams “the real hero” of the story.
“She let a total stranger use her car for a job interview,” Ouellette said. “It shows that in a small community we still help each other out.
The woman returned to Freshies later that morning but did not indicate whether she got the job, Adams said. Adams never learned the woman’s name or her story.
Efforts by the Bangor Daily News to reach the woman for comment were unsuccessful.
Adams said she would never forget the kindness of those who lent their time.
“I thought it was great that they helped. It shows that some people still have hearts,” Adams said.