The man and 24 others took shelter in the school during the storm that could’ve killed them
When the news sometimes feels dark and gloomy, we like to remind ourselves that there are good things happening in the world too. Like the story of “Merry Christmas Jay”. He saved the lives of twenty four others during the massive snowstorm that hit New York on Christmas Eve.
It was the night before Christmas Eve and Jay Withey’s truck got stuck in a big snowstorm that hit Western New York. Because of the storm he had nowhere to go and so him and two others were forced to sleep in his truck. According to the New York Post, Withey said “It’s the only time in my life I actually thought I was going to die.” Him and his companions took turns napping in the truck with the engine running. But eventually, the truck ran out of gas. And they had to find shelter to survive.
Close to where Withey was stranded, there was a school and he decided to break in. He told WBEN: “Off to the left, I could see there was a school about 600, 700 feet away from us. I knew the power would be on, there would be heat in there and I was guaranteeing there would be food in there.” And so Withey took others around him that were also stranded, into the school where they could warm up. He broke into the cafeteria where the people set up their main area and took only what they needed to keep themselves fed. When the storm cleared on Christmas day, the group was finally able to leave the school. Withey used the school’s snowblower to clear the cars so the people could make their way home.
“Merry Christmas Jay” and his group cleaned the school after staying there for two days. Withey fixed the window he broke with duct tape and cardboard. And he left a note in which he apologizes for breaking into the school. In a photo by Cheektowaga Police Department the note is shown: “To whomever it may concern, I’m terribly sorry about breaking the school window and fore breaking in the kitchen… I had to do it to save everyone and get them shelter and food and a bathroom. Merry Christmas Jay.”
After spending Christmas Eve and part of Christmas day together during the blizzard, the group of people became like family, according to Withey. They are even planning a get-together in summer to see each other again.