A group of old college buddies from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, sprung into action when they saw a family who needed help carrying a girl with a disability to a beach in Florida last week. One of their friends caught the act of kindness on video and told CBS News on Thursday it was all about being "in the right place and right time."
During a trip to Tampa Bay for a wedding, Dustin Smalley and his mates were taking a break after a game of a volleyball at St. Pete's Beach last Friday – when they saw a woman having trouble getting her daughter with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair across the sand.
"You can tell she was struggling with her [wheel]chair," Smalley said.
He said his two friends, Justin Johnson and Renal Roberts, then stepped in and asked if they could help. And they did.
Video shows the two men lift the girl and bring her out to the beach. The mother, Smalley said, was overwhelmed by the good deed.
"She was just surprised some younger gentlemen helped her in her time of need," he said. "It was a special moment."
The group learned the family was staying at the Gulf Strand Resort nearby and haven't been able to take out the girl to the beach – or anywhere outside because the wheelchair didn't appear to have multi-terrain capabilities. This made the girl's reaction that much more profound to Smalley.
"It was amazing, that girl was smiling from ear to ear," he said. "She was just so happy people helped her. To be in that room all week, it was nice for her to enjoy the fresh air."
They don't want their gesture to stop there. Smalley hopes to help the family in a more lasting way.
"We're trying to find this lady and help," he said. "It sucks to know she goes to this resort and not being able to do anything. If we could start some sort of GoFundMe to help her out."