Jan 3, 2023
Thought Question: Have you ever had to do something that normally would be wrong in order to help others? Was it worth it?
Story: In an extreme example of being “the change you want to see in the world,” Jay Withey broke into a school December 23 in search of shelter during a deadly blizzard in Buffalo, New York. The break-in possibly saved dozens of people’s lives.
Local police didn't arrest Withey. Instead, they called his actions heroic.
Buffalo was one of the hardest-hit areas in a winter bomb cyclone. It swept across the US Christmas weekend. The storm battered the area with more than four feet of snow and near hurricane-force winds, and sent temperatures plunging. At least 37 people died. They were stranded either outside in the cold or inside their homes without power.
Withey and two others he'd pulled off the street were stuck in it. They were unable to keep driving. He knocked on more than a dozen doors asking strangers for help. None let him in.
In the morning, with little gas left in his car, Withey took matters into his own hands. He broke into a nearby school. Then, he searched for people who were also stranded. He brought them to the school.
"My mission was just to keep going out and grabbing as many people as I can and to just keep going," Withey told NBC News. "I just kept walking, and I walked until I cried and I couldn't walk any further. I was just beat."
By the time police arrived at the school to respond to the break-in, the people were gone. Withey, though, left a note. He wrote he was sorry for breaking into the school. If he hadn't, the world might never have known who he is or what he did.
Photo from Reuters.
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