‘Kindness is free’

By on July 17, 2021

A special OBX vacation for one family

Katie Capiz and her family. (Photo credit: Amanda McDanel)

After undergoing an experimental treatment at Duke University in her fight against an aggressive form of brain cancer, Katie Capiz of Minnesota wanted to spend a week on the Outer Banks with her mother and four boys. When Kill Devil Hills resident Amanda McDanel learned last week that Capiz was planning the trip, she did what members of the Outer Banks community do so well.

She rallied for help.  And it didn’t take long to get a response.

McDanel didn’t know Capiz. She only found out about her story from a friend in Raleigh who had heard that Capiz was looking for a vacation cottage on the Outer Banks after her treatments at Duke.

But after asking for donations on her Four if By Sea Facebook page, McDanel received $10,000 in monetary and in-kind donations within 48 hours — offerings that have made it possible for the Capiz family to have the vacation of a lifetime, expense free, from July 13 to 19.

“I always want to teach my daughters that no matter what your situation is, you can always be of service,” McDanel said of what inspired her to raise funds for the Capiz vacation. “Kindness is free, manners are free. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.”

When Seaside Vacations Outer Banks provided the free accommodations and welcome package for Capiz, McDanel picked it up from there and used the donations to organize a week at the beach for the Capiz family.

Because of the generosity of those who donated — and McDanel estimates that most of that came from the Outer Banks community — the Capiz family has been the recipient of everything form a wildflower bouquet and swag from the Throwdown Surf Classic to a refrigerator stocked with groceries.

They’ve also been treated to authentic Outer Banks experiences, including a private tour of the U.S. Coast Guard Base at Oregon Inlet, a wild horse tour, a day at the OBX Waterpark, ghost crab hunting, expense-paid shopping sprees and great food at local Outer Banks restaurants.

McDanel’s campaign, called OBX Kindness for Katie, was so successful that Capiz and her family were escorted onto the Outer Banks by a caravan of local motorcycle groups, police agencies and local residents that met the family in Manns Harbor on July 13 before heading over the bridge to their vacation cottage in Kill Devil Hills.

In fact, there were so many donations that McDanel was able to fly out Capiz’s two best friends to surprise her and spend a few days with her and her family on the Outer Banks. The leftover funds raised by McDanel will go toward Capiz and her family’s next vacation stop in Washington, D.C.

Amanda McDanel and her daughter, Harbor, as they welcome Katie Capiz and her family to the Outer Banks along with other well wishers. (Photo credit Amanda McDanel)

McDanel has been offering updates on Capiz’s week at the beach on her Four If By Sea Facebook page, on which she recently posted, “To this point, every aspect of their trip from spending money for the boys, clothing to spoil the family, shopping sprees, treats, babysitting fees, household supplies, food requests, flights, rental cars, coffee, tips for servers, etc. – has been able to be paid for by our funds. They have not had to spend a dime out of pocket.”

McDanel has been tagging local businesses that have donated to OBX Kindness for Katie, and she told the Voice that that while there are so many to thank, Corolla Pizza was one that offered the largest monetary donation.

Aimee Triana, one of Capiz’s friends who flew in from Nebraska to spend time with her and her family on the Outer Banks, extended thanks to the Outer Banks community on McDanel’s social media site this week.

“I can’t thank [McDanel] and the OBX community for making these amazing memories for Katie and her family!” she posted. “These boys are feeling energized…and Katie and her mom are feeling your love while they enjoy seeing them laugh and giggle!”

She concluded, “This family so needed this moment in time to find peace and serenity during this hectic time in their lives. If I could give each and every one of you a squeeze, I would…Today, I ask that all of you find a small way to be extra gentle on yourself and find peace in knowing that YOU are part of something big and have made a difference in their lives!”





  • C A

    Wow, this is just an awesome display of grace, and kindness. I’m so proud of all our citizens, and community that made this possible for this family.

    Amidst all the contempt, rancor and selfishness swirling around in the world right now, our folks, our community is doing this.

    Needless to say, Amanda McDanel is the perfect representation of care, compassion, and now, Dare County. Fantastic news.

    Hope this family has a great time, and can find a way to only think about that at least for a bit. God bless all of whom gave,

    Saturday, Jul 17 @ 10:53 am
  • Trish Coughlin

    What an awesome story! Way to go OBX and my super awesome friend Amanda who has the biggest heart!!!

    Saturday, Jul 17 @ 12:57 pm
  • Dawn

    I’m not surprised at the generosity of locals on the OBX. What a wonderful thing to do for that family. I can’t help but wonder why though, that we aren’t looking right here in our own community to help people here?! Many people can barely afford to pay their rent or mortgage let alone think about affording a vacation. There are folks that are caregivers here for loved ones that could benefit from generous hearts like McDanel’s. Just seems we should be looking locally to help those around us suffering financially and physically. You don’t have to look hard here to find a family in need of assistance whether they’ve been thru a recent tragedy or going thru a tough medical situation or just struggling financially to make ends meet. Rich people might retire here but the working class folks that run this beach are barely making ends meet with the high cost of living and the low wages being paid. I’m suggesting that thought is given to the needs right here in our own town. Too bad the Minnesota family didn’t have a community there to support them like we have here.

    Saturday, Jul 17 @ 1:02 pm
  • Glenn

    A wonderful story…thanks for sharing! A true example of what makes the OBX a wonderful coastal community!

    Saturday, Jul 17 @ 1:43 pm
  • John Sewell and Carol Sewell

    our daughter Jennifer and family will be on the Outer Banks this week. She has recently survived the breast cancer and we thank the Stephanie Spielman, James Cancer Clinic, Columbus Ohio. She was saved by the clinic wonderful doctors and staff after her 16 months of treatments and operations. She was truly blessed.
    They will be staying seven days enjoying the beach along with their good friends from Charleston WV.


    Saturday, Jul 17 @ 11:43 pm
  • Darlie

    Great story,
    OBX community, helping neighbors, helping the communities and helping others from other places.
    When storms and hurricanes make a mess, OBX community, is there doing all they can to ensure there are food, shelter, clothing, medicine and funds available for those who need them most. Those who need the help, those who could use some help and those who fared well are out there cleaning up as well as making pick up and deliveries of donations, medicines, lost and stray pets.
    Someone said the OBX community needs to do more locally and it is my hope that this person contacts the hopeline, foodbanks, people and pet shelters, restaurants feeding the hungry, to name a few, and asks who can use the most help so that they too can give to the community that helps their people. If they need rent money they will find the orgs that seek those who qualify for such help.
    The OBX rocks because of the many people like Amanda and the many families like the McDanal family.
    It’s also humbling when those who have lost everything show up to help!
    God Bless the OBX, her people and the Capiz family. Thank you Voice for the motivating and uplifting story!

    Sunday, Jul 18 @ 1:11 am
  • hightider

    Ms McDaniels – please use your awe-inspiring compassion and boundless energy to continue to live a life of service. There are so many people in need locally who would be very grateful for something small – assistance dealing with a bureaucracy, paying a deposit or a utility bill, buying a week’s worth of groceries, or a full tank of gas. You are not alone – your children are learning firsthand the value of service and you apparently can reach out to other generous souls on the OBX. We can all offer Ms Capiz something for free – a prayer or an uplifting thought. At some point, each of us or a loved one, will experience an illness or injury that comes out from left field. Listening to the waves at night is a healing experience. Maybe a charitable non-profit is the answer to affordable housing for workers on the OBX since the bureaucrats are failing spectacularly.

    Sunday, Jul 18 @ 8:06 am
  • resident

    This is a great heartwarming story. And let’s be thankful also for the individuals and organizations on the obx dedicated full-time to helping locals in need.

    Check out: obrf.org, obcf.org, dareclinic.org, beachfoodpantry.org to name a few. And there are other civic groups and individuals that work throughout the year to help people in need in our
    community. We are very fortunate to live in a community with these organizations and others – and the individuals that run them and support them!

    The OBX has always been a generous and caring community.

    Sunday, Jul 18 @ 8:41 am