A Dose Of McHospitality: Fast Food Restaurant Turns Into Safe Haven During Blizzard.

Buffalo Blizzard victims shelter inside McDonald's

A McDonald’s restaurant near Buffalo, New York has given locals a new reason to say, “I’m lovin’ it.”

A deadly winter storm hit the area in the last days of 2022, leaving people stranded and fighting to stay alive through power outages, gale-force winds, and blinding, white-out condition snowfall. Employees at the McDonald’s in Amherst began closing up as the blizzard raged, but they quickly realized they would not be able to make it home.

Since the roads were impassable, workers Jeffrey Spangler, Kristin Kosha and Amanda Kendall decided to hunker down and wait out the storm inside the heated building. When they heard that people were becoming stranded by the blizzard all around the restaurant, they felt compelled to share their safe space with others.

“We accepted the fact that we weren’t going home, so we might as well open up,” Kristin explained. “We figured someone might need some help.”

Kristin wrote a message on a Facebook post where area residents were sharing news and information about the storm. She shared that she and a handful of other employees hadn’t made it home in time, so they’d be keeping the doors open and the coffee flowing for anyone who needed shelter.

Soon, the Amherst Police were bringing by anyone who’d gotten stuck on the roads nearby. The team got right to work showing them hospitality!

Workers expected a handful of people to take them up on their offer, but in the end, they welcomed more than 50 people into their safe haven. Their guests included first responders, elderly people, pets, and even a 7-month-old baby! Throughout the Christmas weekend, the employees made food and kept people as comfortable as they could.

“We fed them, had the coffee’s going,” Kristin said. “Hot chocolates. Saturday we had the Bills game on. They chatted amongst themselves, mingled and we kept them fed.”

Kristin says it was “just common sense” to invite people into their warm building during a wild storm, but we think these workers are true heroes! We shudder to think what might have happened if they hadn’t kept the doors open.

Share this story to thank these employees for going above and beyond to help others.

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