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"The Cause" helps neighbors in need

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many of the Suncoast's older residents have to fend for themselves when it comes to clean up.

For 82-year old Minnie Coleman, a resident of Sarasota for more than 70-years, it was a shock when she returned home and saw the damage hurricane irma had caused.

"It was a mess. It really was and I just panicked. I cried, I didn't know who to call or where to go," said Coleman. 

A tree uprooted just a mere feet from hitting here home. A portion of a fence coming from a home more than 50 yards away and portions of her fence were  damaged. Partially disabled and living alone, this obviously is a job she couldn't do on her own. But then she ended up getting a bit of a surprise.

"I saw all these boys and men in my yard and I asked one of them who he was, and he said his name was love, but he said Michael Hawthorne."

Yes, the same Michael Hawthorne who played for the New Orleans Saints and  the Green Bay Packers. He helped put together a group called "The Cause" that is now cleaning up heavy debris around Newtown. 

"I started boohoo crying. People thought they had done something to me and it was tears of joy. I'm glad that they know when I'm happy I cry," said Coleman.

Coleman helped raise Hawthorne and another "Cause" member when they were kids.

"Everybody in the world need to know that these young men are not boys anymore, they're young men that still remember what I've done for them through the years when they were young."

They are now a group with the sole purpose of helping the elderly.

"I'm really proud of the way they came in here and showed me their love and how they wanted to help me," Coleman told ABC7. 

The group politely and humbly declined an interview with ABC7 on Friday saying they were busy helping other like Minnie Coleman.