JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Being back in a salon brings back a sense of normalcy after a very abnormal time in Renee Ilano's life.
"It feels like the last week was the longest week of my life," Ilano said.
Water from the streets and water not quite up to the knee went inside Renee's first floor San Marco apartment due to Irma.
"It was completely underwater," Ilano said.
Ilano lost everything that wasn't up high on a shelf or in her closet, including irreplaceable memories.
"All my granddaughter's toys and personal belongings that were on the floor; pictures, family pictures, those are probably the biggest things that affected me," Ilano said.
As if things couldn't get worse, her hair salon inside the Wells Fargo Center was also inundated with water. Her source of income disappeared.
"I don't think you can ever prepare for that," Ilano said. "It was very upsetting."
Homeless and unable to work, Ilano sent out a plea on Facebook for a place she could style and cut hair. She was able to land a temporary spot to set up shop inside Tania's Hair Studio in Avondale.
"It worked out perfectly when I thought I had lost everything, this really came through at the perfect time for me," Ilano said.
The generosity didn't end there. Ilano's upstairs neighbor Adam Mills decided to use a hobby he picked up less than a year ago to help her out. He plans on selling his people and nature-centric art, with half the profits going toward Renee, along with other inundated neighbors.
"Renee was out of work for a little while, hopefully that helps her out and they can get back some of their belongings," Mills said.
Sometimes help is literally right under your nose. In Ilano's case, under her nose and sitting in her styling chair. Ilano's client, Bernadette DeJesus, helped take up a collection for Renee.
"Just wanted to do something to help," DeJesus said.
The saying goes that help comes from unexpected places. Ilano said the kind acts, after such loss, just go to show human-kindness at it's best.
"I think it shows the good in people and the way people are wiilling to help out when there's a crisis and that there are people willing to do selfless acts to help you out when they can," Ilano said.
"If you'd like to purchase any of Mill's art, send him an email at AdamMillsDraws@gmail.com.
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