CINCINNATI -- Anyone entering Paul Brown Stadium on game night will meet a cast of colorful characters on their way in, but Thursday night's crowd was different. Spots normally occupied by buskers in flamboyant dress were instead manned by Cincinnatians hoping to raise money for hurricane victims in Texas and Florida.
For some of those who arrived armed with Red Cross donation buckets, like Houston native Kim Schneider, the cause was personal. Although her family members in Texas stayed safe from Hurricane Harvey, her best friend's parents lost everything.
"It's the worst feeling when everyone is calling and texting you and you're watching TV and there's nothing you can do," she said.
Anna Acuna, from Katy, Texas, said her story was similar. Some of her friends returned after the hurricane to find their homes and belongings destroyed by the deluge. Although she came to Paul Brown to support the Texans, she said the opportunity to give back -- and the presence of fellow Katy native Andy Dalton on the Bengals -- made the game a win-win situation.
Fans on both sides of the athletic struggle found common ground in their desire to help people affected by the two natural catastrophes.
"That tells you what the heart of this city is like, what the people in this area are like," Schneider said.