A 27-year-old man apologizes for breaking into a school, but here’s how he saved 24 lives as a result of his actions.

Jay Withey, a New York mechanic, felt terrible about breaking into a school. He was so sorry that he left a note. When police learned the reason for the break-in, they applauded the humble hero for doing what was necessary to save lives! 24-year-old Jay Withey was only trying to assist a friend who was caught in the deadly storm that hit New York on December 23, 2022.

Instead, he got himself stuck and quickly ran out of gas. He noticed a man named Mike walking through the snow. Jay told him to get in the truck because he was wearing sneakers and a light jacket. Jay then went door to door, offering $500 in exchange for sleeping on someone’s floor. After 10 or more houses turned him down, he went back to his truck, defeated, and decided to try to sleep.

A woman named Mary knocked on the window of his truck while he was sleeping. Jay told her she could ride in his truck as well. They tried to save fuel by turning the truck on and off throughout the night. The truck had run out of fuel by the morning, and they needed to use the restroom. Jay knew he had to take action. He checked his phone’s GPS and noticed a nearby school. He knew there would be at least shelter, heat, bathrooms, and possibly food.

Jay used some brake pads he had in his truck to break a window and bring his new friends in for shelter. The alarm was sounding, but officers couldn’t get to the school to investigate due to the hazardous conditions. Jay managed to silence the alarm, but he couldn’t leave anyone else stranded. He went back out into the raging storm, checking car after car, until he had saved 24 people and two dogs.

Jay Withey claims that he walked until he cried and couldn’t walk any longer. He was drenched and exhausted. On Christmas Eve, the group stayed at the school for 24 hours. They only ate what they needed to survive and used the computers to stay up to date on the storm’s progress. They also left the school in better condition than when they arrived, plugging the computers back in and cleaning up after themselves.\

The storm had passed by Christmas morning, and Jay found a snow blower to help people get back to their cars. But Jay couldn’t help but feel bad about breaking the window to get in. He felt so bad that he wrote a note apologizing for breaking the window but explaining that he had no choice but to do so in order to save everyone. “Merry Christmas, Jay,” he signed it.

To find out who he was, the Cheektowaga Police Department posted the note on Facebook. And Jay Withey has been dubbed a hero, albeit a humble one. When asked why he kept going out in the crazy storm to rescue people, he said, “It’s because I love people.” “I have to assist the next person in line… It only takes one person.” He stated that there is still much good in the world and that he hopes people can see it.

Jay also believes that everything happens for a reason, because the people he rescued might have died if any of those houses had let him stay on their floors. “We went into the school strangers and came out family,” one of the people Jay rescued said.

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