HGTV Stars Help Struggling Military Mom: ‘Can’t Stop Thinking About It’

military deployment

Getty A U.S. Navy Sailor hugs his wife before his latest deployment

Jenny and Dave Marrs, stars of HGTV‘s “Fixer to Fabulous,” recently became unexpected heroes to a struggling military mom at Denver International Airport. Jenny says she can’t stop thinking about the encounter and what she learned from that meaningful day.

Jenny Marrs Shares Blog Post About Helping Military Family

Dave and Jenny Marrs

GettyHGTV’s Dave and Jenny Marrs at Better Homes & Gardens birthday event in September 2022

In mid-October, the Marrs spent a week in Fort Morgan, Colorado, filming renovations and reveals to eventually air on “Home Town Takeover,” scheduled to debut on HGTV in early 2023. They were eager to get home to their five kids in Bentonville, Arkansas, but nearly missed their flight because they got wrapped up in helping a stranger.

On October 22, 2022, Jenny shared a new post on her Blessings & Rainbows blog, entitled “Be Quick to Help.” In the post, she detailed their experience of walking to their gate at the airport and feeling compelled to help a fellow parent who was having a hard time with her kids.

“As we walked down the stairs, we noticed a mom with a baby in a carrier strapped to her chest and a toddler who was in full-meltdown-mode,” she wrote. “He was thrashing and wailing and she was very visibly struggling with the luggage, the baby, the stroller and the out-of-control toddler.”

They headed toward the woman, hoping to lend a quick hand, but before they got there, they noticed an older couple with the frazzled mom. Assuming they were the children’s grandparents, Jenny wrote that they didn’t want to intrude.

“However,” she wrote, “we both felt a nudge to stay for a moment longer just to be sure they were okay. As we watched the interaction, we realized the older couple wasn’t related to this young family and were offering their help. So, we walked over and asked if there was anything we could do.”

Jenny said the “visibly exhausted” mom accepted their help right away, handing over the luggage and car seat, but when she struggled to pick up her toddler with her baby strapped to her chest, she asked Jenny if she could try lifting him into his stroller.

“I tried to calm him down in order to pick him up but he wasn’t having it,” Jenny wrote. “We tried coaxing him into the stroller on his own. Instead, he rolled on the floor and screamed as loudly as possible.”

The Marrs and the other couple finally got the little boy into his stroller, but he kept climbing out as they tried to get the family to their gate, which was 50 gates away from where the Marrs were supposed to catch their flight. Jenny wrote that she was well aware their own plane had begun boarding and she was starting to worry that they’d miss the only flight heading home to Arkansas that night. And yet, she wrote, she couldn’t bring herself to leave the mom behind.

“As we raced along,” she wrote, “I asked the mom where they were traveling from. She told me they had been visiting her husband who was in the military, stationed halfway across the globe. This hit me so hard. She was emotional, exhausted and had been traveling for over 24 hours. Her kiddos had left their daddy after a brief visit. They were emotional and exhausted. She also shared that her son had diabetes and his blood sugar was too high, causing the erratic behavior.”

The group finally reached the family’s gate, wished the mom well on her flight home with her two little ones, and the Marrs raced back to their own gate. Jenny said they were the last two people to board the plane, but they made it.

Fans React as Jenny Marrs Says She ‘Can’t Stop Thinking’ About Encounter

Jenny published her blog post a week after the airport encounter, writing that she “can’t stop thinking about it.” One thing weighing on her mind, she said, is how easy it would have been for her and Dave, as well as the older couple, to ignore the screaming toddler and the struggling mom, figuring it was none of their business to intervene — but that she’s so glad they trusted the urge to step in.

“I’m not sharing this to garner any praise for what we did. It was truly so little,” she wrote, adding that she’s been in the other mom’s shoes before, as the recipient of kindness from strangers. “I’m sharing this because it’s a very tangible reminder of the fact that we never really know what someone else is going through. Before we are quick to judge the toddler who is acting out or the momma who is exhausted and visibly struggling, we should offer a hand to help.”

Jenny added that they had no way of knowing that it was a military family nor that the little boy was sick. They simply saw someone in need and “answered the gentle nudge urging us to do so.”

“We all have struggles that are both visible and invisible,” she wrote in conclusion. “We can all use an extra hand from time to time. It reminded me to be slow to judge and quick to help.”

When Jenny shared an excerpt of her blog story in an Instagram post, fans flooded it with comments of gratitude and praise.

One woman wrote, “I have been on the receiving end of this type of help and I will tell you I will never forget that sweet man that helped me. You forever made an impact on that sweet momma.”

Another commented, “Thank you for sharing this story and the reminder. It made me think about how we live in such a troubled world, with so many huge problems, that we sometimes feel overwhelmed and powerless to help or do anything. But we’re not. We can always help and we need to start with the little things, that don’t seem big to us, but a little kindness and help can change someone’s day, and help lighten their burden. Thank you again for this reminder!”

Though the Marrs may never know how much their effort meant to that mom in the airport, new research shows they can trust it did. A study by psychologists at the University of Texas, Austin, outlined in a September 2 New York Times article, shows that most people vastly underestimate how much their random acts of kindness matter to the recipient of them.

The research reveals that while most people suspect their kind efforts will be considered “small” or inconsequential, recipients of their acts of kindness find the gestures much more meaningful than the person expected. One of the study’s authors, Amit Kumar, told the New York Times he hopes the evidence convinces people to act on their impulses to be kind more often.

“We believe these miscalibrated expectations matter for behavior,” he said. “Not knowing one’s positive impact can stand in the way of people engaging in these sorts of acts of kindness in daily life.”

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