- A Buffalo couple opened the church they live in to provide food and shelter to dozens of strangers.
- Al and Vivian Robinson originally planned to spend Christmas with their children.
- Instead, the couple fed about 130 people and set up beds and mattresses to protect the local population.
A couple from Buffalo, New York, are being hailed as heroes for feeding more than 100 people during a snowstorm that killed at least 39 people.
Al Robinson, pastor of the Lovejoy District’s Spirit of Truth Urban Ministry, and his wife, Vivian, live on the church grounds.
Al Robinson told the Today show that he originally planned to spend the Christmas weekend with nine children visiting from out of town. The couple changed their plans when they learned that residents were trapped in their neighborhood.
“Some were freezing to death,” said Robinson.
The couple used their Facebook profile and groups such as the Buffalo Blizzard Response to urge locals to seek refuge in the church.
“For those stranded in Lovejoy, we are providing shelter here at our church,” Robinson wrote on Facebook on Dec. 23, along with the church’s address and phone number.
Robinson said the food they had for two weeks could feed about 130 people over the weekend. Robinson added that the couple set up beds and mattresses in the center of the church to protect locals.
“People were older. We had 92-year-olds who needed oxygen. We had 9-month-olds who needed formula,” Robinson told the “Today” show. and all those needs were met.”
“I don’t want anyone going hungry. God is showering my neighbors with grace,” Robinson wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
In a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday, Robinson said he would deliver food and formula to people who couldn’t make it to church because of the weather.
In a post on Wednesday’s Buffalo Blizzard Response page, one of the locals the couple helped, Tameta Amblekins, expressed his gratitude.
“I am in tears. I felt abandoned and hopeless with the people around me,” Bulkins wrote. I have relieved this fear of not being able to feed my baby and I can breathe easier today.”
Robinson and Bulkins did not immediately respond to an insider’s request for comment.
The Robinsons aren’t the only Good Samaritans who helped the community during a Buffalo blizzard.
Sha’Kyra Aughtry rescues a man who heard cries for help outside his home. She and her boyfriend cared for the man, identified as Joe White, for two days until he was able to go to the hospital.
Also, a Buffalo resident whom Cheektowaga police dubbed “Merry Christmas Jay” rescued a stranger trapped in a car.
— Cheektowaga Police (@CPDNYInfo) December 29, 2022
“He left a note apologizing for the damage and use of the snow blower he used to make his way to the school,” the Cheektowaga Police Department tweeted. I want to thank ‘Jay’ for his kind actions.”