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Willie Ray’s Q Shack owner headed to Texas to feed people in need

Willie Ray’s Q Shack owner is headed to Texas to feed people in need.
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 11:02 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Willie Ray Fairley, owner of Willie Ray’s Q Shack in Cedar Rapids said he was once again coming to the rescue, this time, it would be in Texas.

In a social media post on Thursday, he said he would be headed south to try and feed people who had been without power after the recent snowstorm. This gesture wasn’t new for Fairly. He gave out thousands of free meals after the derecho hit Eastern Iowa.

Me and the team is planning on going to Texas to help the needed. By any chance is there a couple volunteers that would...

Posted by Willie Ray's Q Shack on Thursday, February 18, 2021

“Mentally, I am drained and beaten down,” said Jerica Parker, a former Cedar Rapids native turned Texan. “I don’t think I’ve been through something like this in Iowa.”

Parker shared pictures of herself shopping at a grocery store where nothing was on the shelves. She moved to Texas 9-years ago after falling in love with the city. She has never seen this before and was living in a hotel because of the storm.

“I got power back yesterday, but I still don’t have any running water, let alone hot water,” she said.

Fairley’s post has thousands of shares. He said he would be leaving around noon Friday, but needed help moving the smokers. He was busy clearing his smokers and didn’t have time to speak to TV9. He did have this to say a week after the derecho where he fed thousands of his neighbor’s meals for free.

“When a storm happens, you have to become family,” said Willie Fairley. “Everyone’s family doesn’t matter who you are. You have to stick together.

Parker has never met Fairley. She said she learned of his act of kindness through her connections in her hometown. She even donated to his efforts. Learning that he was headed to Texas to bring his BBQ was something she and so many others would appreciate over the desperate days.

“On a primal level, with the fact that we just don’t have food, and people haven’t had a hot meal in 3-4 days, this is amazing,” she said. “Somebody outside cares. We are not alone. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I think it’s going to be a huge morale bust wherever he goes.”

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