A Target store hosted a Christmas weekend sleepover for people stranded in the deadly winter storm that slammed Buffalo and western New York.
Around 25 people were able to find refuge inside the Target in Cheektowaga, according to The Buffalo News, as feet of snow were dumped on the region during a winter pummeling that authorities now say has caused at least 35 deaths.
"I cannot say enough to the Target employees who opened their doors to us and have provided everything we have needed, you guys are literally life savers!!" Jessica Sypniewski, of West Seneca, wrote on Facebook.
She told The Buffalo News that she, her boyfriend and their two kids were among those who were welcomed at the Target store on Friday after getting stuck in whiteout conditions.
Sypniewski said once they arrived, she was offered Starbucks hot cocoa and a blanket.
"They said, 'Anything you need, it's on us,'" she told the newspaper. "'Just let us scan it first.'"
Shoppers, Employees Trapped in Buffalo, NY Target During Christmas after Snowstorm. (Jessica Lee/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX)
At one point on Christmas Eve, the Target staff opened up a television and put the Buffalo Bills game on so the locals could watch their team defeat the Chicago Bears.
It wasn’t until Christmas Day that the area surrounding the store was dug out and people could return home.
The front doors at the Target store in Cheektowaga while it was snowed in over the weekend. (Jessica Lee/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX)
"Thanks to the compassion and quick thinking of the team members at our Walden Galleria store, they were able to provide shelter to those who were stranded, and also offered care, comfort and holiday cheer," Mark Schindele, Target’s executive vice president and chief stores officer, told FOX Business in a statement.
Employees stranded at the store opened their iced-over doors and welcomed stranded drivers with Starbucks hot cocoa. (Jessica Lee/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX)
"Their actions are a living example of Target’s values and we are thankful to have been able to assist those in need," he said.