BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After four hours on a payloader, a generator finally made it to a Buffalo shelter with 150 homeless, cold asylum seekers in the middle of the Buffalo blizzard. The lights and heat were finally turned back on.
But it was a car dealership CEO who made it happen.
Let’s back up.
Vive Shelter, off of E. Ferry Street in Buffalo, is especially busy right now. There are around 150 people living there who escaped war and other disasters from all over the world. Inside the shelter right now, there are people from about 15 different countries, like Ukraine, Congo and more. Sometimes the asylum seekers find a home in Buffalo, many other times they go find refuge in Canada.
On Friday afternoon, after the blizzard hit, the power went out and the temperature inside the old, rundown building dropped.
Vive is run by Jericho Road Community Health Center. The founder and CEO of Jericho Road, Dr. Myron Glick, realized he needed help and called a good friend.
That friend was Scott Bieler, the CEO of West Herr Automotive Group. Bieler jumped in immediately saying he’d send a crew of electricians with a truck.
“They were unable to get into the city,” Dr. Glick said. “They were determined and just could not do it.”
The roads were too bad. They couldn’t make it. So Dr. Glick thought that was it… and started to get nervous.
“I was really stressed out,” he said.
But a little time later, Bieler called him back. He wasn’t going to give up.
“Scott called me again and said, ‘We found a payloader — one of those big tractors with a scoop on the front — we’re going to drag our generator into town on this payloader,'” Dr. Glick said.
The payloader with the generator left Hamburg, en route for Buffalo. After about four hours on the roads, it finally made it to the shelter and after 30 more minutes, the generator was turned on.
The shelter was without power for 27 hours in all. If it wasn’t for the generator, Dr. Glick said it would’ve been without it for another 27 or so.
“(I made) a phone call to thank a good friend to be there for us to go the extra mile,” Dr. Glick said, after the generator was turned on. “It was a great testimony at Christmas time of what we should all do for our neighbors.”