10 On Your Side viewers help veteran replace work trailer, tools

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Last week, handyman Emmett Hobbs stood in an empty driveway, where his work trailer should have been.

“As I was coming down the street, I noticed that the trailer wasn’t sitting here, then my heart sank,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs, a disabled Coast Guard veteran from Hampton, said the trailer and everything he needs to make a living was stolen before he could finish a painting project at a home on Hopi Court in Portsmouth.

“I don’t even have a tape measure, I mean, they’ve got everything,” he said Thursday.

After 10 On Your Side shared his story, calls and emails started coming in to both Hobbs and the newsroom.

“People started calling and saying, you know, ‘I’ve got this, if you would like it, you know, you’re welcome to it,'” Hobbs says.

Bob Morris runs a local non-profit, Partners International Foundation, that helps veterans in need.

“The newscast was still running. I looked at it and my wife said, ‘We need to help that man’. I called him while you were still on the air and told him to come over that night to get a check for the tools. Then a couple days later, we worked out something to get him the trailer,” Morris says.

Now Hobbs has a new trailer, donated tools, and help to buy new ones.

“When he called me, I almost had to pull over on the interstate, I felt myself getting a little teary-eyed, it kind of restored my faith in man,” Hobbs says.

Morris said it was simply the right thing to do.

“I was actually pretty upset. I’m upset when this happens to anybody, but particularly to a disabled veteran,” Morris says.

Hobbs said he is grateful to everyone who pitched in, to allow him to continue his business.

“I’ve always watched 10 On Your Side and over the years, I’ve always noticed that every time you all do a story like this, you know, the public stand up, they come forward and they help,” Hobbs says.