A photo of an extraordinary jet ski rescue in Houston is going viral for all the right reasons. The photo shows a smiling woman in a life jacket, sitting behind a man giving the thumbs up. The optics are extraordinary: a jet ski comfortably floating in the middle of a living room, smiling faces, a plastic chair half-floating in the frame. It’s a much-needed moment of levity in a tragic and ongoing struggle with the historic flooding in Texas.
But the viral rescue, it turns out, wouldn’t have happened were it not for Chik-fil-A.
You heard right.
According to CNN, on Monday, Aug. 28, an elderly couple in Houston called their local Chik-fil-A — not for their usual morning breakfast order, but for rescue. J.C. and Karen Spencer had been trying emergency lines to no avail, so they figured they’d try calling the restaurant they ordered from daily.
Manager Jeffrey Urban happened to be at the closed restaurant to check on things when the Spencers called. He wasn’t planning on answering the phone — until he saw a familiar number. When the couple requested rescue and explained their situation, Urban reached out to the restaurant’s owner and human resources director Cindy Smith, whose husband happened to have a boat. Urban gathered neighbors, and they headed to the Spencers’ with boat and jet skis in tow.
J.C. Spencer was interviewed by Good Morning America on Aug. 30, and he said that once he and his wife realized they had to evacuate, emergency lines were busy, so they called Chik-fil-A. He recalled, “I ordered two grilled chicken burritos with extra egg and a boat.”
It’s an uplifting story in the midst of a storm that just won’t seem to let up. As of Aug. 28, 56,000 calls had been made to 911 in a 15-hour period. reports that tens of billions of dollars of damage have been done thus far — to say nothing to the people whose lives have been lost, and others whose lives have been wiped away by the historic flooding.
It’s also important to see the very real human kindness that has led to many extraordinary rescue efforts in the past few days. Stories like these remind us all of our collective humanity — and that people are, by and large, good.
And it’s also yet another reason to love Chik-fil-A.
As if I needed another reason.