A Blizzard of Kindness That will Warm Your Heart

Snow angels helped others during the snowstorm.

Man cleaning off neighbor's snowbound car,

(Lopolo / Shutterstock.com)

Snow is a normal occurrence in Buffalo, New York, due to its proximity to Lake Erie and the city is well prepared for snow removal. So when a snowstorm was predicted in the forecast for Friday, December 23, 2022, many of the city’s residents went to work and shopped for the holiday.

But the snowstorm which went across the US, brought way too much snow, high winds, and brutal temperatures, making travel almost impossible. This blizzard of the century brought more than 50 inches of snow to Buffalo and surrounding areas over a five-day period that included Christmas, reported 2WGRZ.

The ferocity of the weather caught many by surprise and they were unable to get home. While there are many tragic stories about the storm, there are also many stories about snow angels who opened their homes and businesses as shelters for people who were stranded. Here are just three of these remarkable acts of kindness.

Couple open their home to Korean tourists
A group of 10 South Korean tourists had a very unexpected experience during the blizzard when their van was stuck in the snow, reported the HuffPost. The tourists were on their way to Washington DC and were not aware of the weather reports about the storm. But a couple of good Samaritans came to their rescue.

Alexander Campagna, wrote on his Facebook page that he received a knock on his door from two of the tourists asking to borrow shovels to dig out the van that was stuck outside of his home. That’s when Campagna and his wife Andrea  knew they had to invite the stranded travelers in to ride out the storm.

The couple provided their unexpected guests with a place to sleep. They watched a Buffalo Bills game and ate Korean meals. It was a time, Campagna said he would never forget.

While the van was still stuck at the end of the weekend, drivers came to transport the travelers to New York City for their return home.

Kind barber turns his shop into a shelter
Craig Elston, the owner of C&C Cutz barbershop wanted to do a few haircuts and clean up before the storm and found himself stranded at work reported Buffalo News. He never expected not to make it home for Christmas.

People started coming into the barbershop to charge their cellphones or to get warm but some didn’t have anywhere else they could safely get to.  As the storm worsened, Elston, started inviting people to shelter at the shop via a post on Tik Tok and other social media. He told Buffalo News that he felt compelled to act.

By Friday evening, there were 40 people camped out with some people sleeping in the barber chairs and on the floor. Elston paid a group of four people to go to an open convenience store to bring back food and water.

“It was crazy, man,” he said. “People told me I saved their life, that in another three minutes they felt like they were going to die from the freezing cold. Some peoples' fingers were purple.”

As the weather improved on Monday December 26, the number of people dwindled to a handful. Elston said that he would leave when he could drive his (at the time) buried car. His only regret was that he missed spending Christmas with his family.

McDonalds Shelters 50 from the storm
As the blizzard bore down on Amherst – a suburb of Buffalo – Friday afternoon, McDonald’s employees Jeffrey Spangler, Kristin Kosha, Amanda Kendall, and their manager were closing up when they realized it wasn’t safe to try to get home, reported WKBW News.

Kosha told WKBW that they knew they had a warm place to stay and there was plenty of food so they invited other people that were stuck on the streets to come to the fast- food restaurant. “We accepted the fact that we weren’t going home, so we might as well open up,” she said. “We figured someone might need some help.”

The Amherst police and fire departments started bringing stranded people and more than 50 people – including a 7-month-old baby – weathered the storm through Christmas weekend at the restaurant.

“We fed them, had the coffee  going,” Kosha said. “Saturday we had the Bills game on. They chatted amongst themselves, mingled, and we kept them fed.” Helping others just came naturally to the team.

There are countless others who helped to provide shelter from the storm, rescued people from their cars, or helped to shovel or plow out their snowbound neighbors. These Snow angels performed acts of kindness that will be remembered long after the snow melts.

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