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Man Breaks Into School On Christmas Eve — But He’s The Opposite Of The Grinch.

a combined picture with jay from security footage walking through the halls on the left and jay with the people he rescued on the right

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Although it isn’t in his nature to break into buildings, Jay Withey did just that on Christmas Eve, 2022 as a blizzard raged in Buffalo, New York. Jay had been driving to pick up a friend who was stranded by the storm when he ran out of gas. It was snowing so hard he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, but he knew staying in his car was not an option.

“No, that’s not me,” Jay told reporters about why he couldn’t just sit in his car and wait for rescue.

Instead, the 27-year-old clambered from his vehicle in search of shelter. He encountered two other people as he searched for help, and the three of them spent an uncomfortable night in his truck. When Jay spotted a vacant school the next morning, he didn’t hesitate to perform a minor act of vandalism in the name of saving his and the two others’ lives. He broke a window and helped them get inside, where the heat was on.

Once they were safe, he could have just stayed put. But Jay had seen other people sitting outside in their stalled cars, and he knew they needed shelter, bathrooms, and food just as much as he did.

“I can see there’s a couple other vehicles stuck in the vicinity of the school,” he recalled. “So I go to them and tell them I’ve broken into the school and that there’s heat in there.”

“It was a matter of survival,” he added. “It was just a very scary situation to be in.”

Jay went back out into the cold, and not just once or twice. He spent hours gathering everyone he could inside the safety of the school. When he was finished, he’d gathered a hodgepodge group of people, including children, senior citizens, and two dogs. They broke into the school’s kitchen and had pizza for their Christmas meal.

When the weather finally cleared, Jay made sure the school was as clean and tidy as they found it. Aside from the window, you couldn’t even tell people had slept and eaten there for over a day! When local cops checked the security footage, they couldn’t believe the group hadn’t left behind a mess. Everything became clear to them when they found a note Jay left for them.

“To whomever this may concern,” said the note. “I’m terribly sorry about breaking the school window and for breaking in the kitchen. Got stuck at 8 pm Friday and slept in my truck with two strangers, just trying not to die. There were 8 elderly people also stuck and out of fuel. I had to do it to save everyone and get them shelter and food and a bathroom. Merry Christmas, Jay.”

Cheektowaga Police shared a photo of Jay from the security cameras so they could thank him for saving about 24 lives during the blizzard.

“I feel 100% that Jay’s actions were heroic and 100% saved lives,” said Cheektowaga Police Chief Brian Gould.

Jay and the people he rescued now feel more like family than friends! They plan to get together next summer for a much warmer reunion.

Share this story to thank Jay for being the hero these strangers needed to weather the storm.

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