SAN ANTONIO — The kitchen prep for the weekend begins early at Comfort Café in San Antonio.   

“Wednesdays we kind of go shopping, get our fresh produce,” said Theresa Lopez 

However, work halted at the Comfort Cafe’s Bandera location in San Antonio when the building was badly damaged by flood waters after a heavy rain.  

“Everything happens for a reason,” said Lopez feeling grateful her other cafe can help keep revenue flowing.  

The cafe’s second location is picking up the slack while repairs are being done. The good news is, shortly before the damage occurred, the cafe received a large donation.  

“I was cooking in the back and the hostess came in and said, 'I got a check, you may want to go say something to these people,'” said Lopez.  

The check was written out for $10,000. It came from a couple who’d been trying to get into the restaurant to eat for a couple weeks. Finally, they got a table and were able to make their generous donation.  

The money will help to house another staff member at the cafe. All of the employees at Comfort Café are recovering addicts. Gabriel Martinez has been in the kitchen for four years now.  

“And I’d burned all my bridges and I had nowhere to go and I found Serenity. So, I’ve been with them for four years now,” said Martinez. 

Comfort Café is a nonprofit restaurant where customers pay they can, and the money supports Serenitystar Recovery. Serenitystar was founded in 2009 and continues to provide a safe, sober and spiritual environment for people to recover from their addictions. Martinez says Serenity Star, and their sister locations saved his life.  

“I wanted to die so bad but I was scared to die. So I was kind of in the middle,” said Martinez.  

He’s grateful to know that $10,000 will be used to make sure someone like him recover from drug and alcohol abuse.

“Feeding them, housing them, the program, the rent, all of it,” said Lopez. “They effectively saved a life,” said Lopez.

An earlier version of this story indicated the donation was received subsequent to the flooding damage occurring. This has been corrected.