By Jack Orloff
When Mariette Hummel went to pick her son up from school, the day was already taking a bad turn. Her husband had called just before dismissal to tell her he had been in a car accident.
"It was a pretty challenging first day of school for our family," Hummel said. "While paramedics were taking care of my husband, I went to pick up my son. But as soon as we got in the car to leave, I realized the car wouldn't start, and the battery was completely dead."
Hummel did not know what to do. As she was thinking, she saw a van out of the corner of her eye and waved it down for help.
"He first tried to jump the car, but when that didn't work, he took my battery to AutoZone to get it charged,” Hummel said. “When they told him that the battery was completely dead, he brought me back a brand new one. He even bought a set of tools so he could change out the batteries for me."
The man was Jesus Vazquez Carvajal, a painter working at Summitt who spent hours with Hummel helping with her car, even buying tools to change the battery himself.
"We were so thankful when he helped us," Hummel said. "It was my son's first day, so he was tired, and I was anxious to go see my husband and make sure he was ok. If it weren't for Jesus, we would have been stuck for a long time."
Jesus then worked late to make up for the time he spent helping Hummel.
"With everything that's going on in the world and our community right now, it felt incredibly comforting to come across a good, kind person like Jesus," Hummel said. "He didn't have to think twice about helping an AISD parent, a stranger to him."
Jesus says that he didn't hesitate to help because he would want the same if he was in that situation.
“It felt good, because, well, I say we are a team - all of us in school - and we are here to help each other,” Jesus Vasquez Carvajal said. “It was important because they were in the broken car and the children cannot be suffering from the heat. And more than anything, if I were in their place and someone did something for my family, I'd be grateful.”
Hummel's husband recovered fully from the car accident. However, the car was totaled. Hummel says she is grateful for Jesus and wants him to know how much his help meant to her and her family.
"I hope he knows how much his kindness and help meant to us that day," Hummel said. "We were having an overall challenging day, and being stuck with a dead battery in the heat, with a seven-year-old, will make anyone feel anxious. He took care of us and sacrificed his time to do so. We are so very grateful, and It has confirmed for us that we made the right choice in becoming a part of the AISD and Summitt family!”
At the August 26th meeting of the Board of Trustees, Superintendent Elizalde awarded Vazquez Carvajal a Golden RAVE award for his service to our community.