The days leading up to Christmas were tough for residents of Buffalo, New York, and the surrounding areas, as a historic blizzard ravaged them.
Emergency services were unable to answer calls for help from people stranded outside or trapped in their cars, and several people were injured or died as a result.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, 37-year-old Buffalo resident Craig Elston, owner of C&C Cutz barbershop, knew he needed to do something to help the community.
In the end, he turned his barber shop into a shelter for people to get out of the cold.
He had become trapped at the shop after going in to work a little before the storm, so he decided it was a great place to offer people a respite from the cold.
He posted a video on social media, urging people to come to his shop if they needed heat, shelter, or a place to charge their phones.
Speaking to people in the area, he said, “Do not stay in your car man. Barbershop here at 707 Filmore welcomes you.”
Check out his video below:
@craigthebarber716 #repost #business #barbershop #blizzard #fyp #foryou #share #buffalo #buffaloblizzard2022 #blizzard #reels #winter #share #help #HolidayOREOke ♬ original sound – Craig Elston
According to Buffalo News, some 40 people ended up wandering into his shop for help that night.
They all slept, spread out between the two barber rooms, some sleeping in the barber chairs and others sprawled out on the floor.
Around 30 people stayed a second night, finding it still too perilous to venture outside the second day. Speaking with Buffalo News, Elston said, “It was crazy, man. People told me I saved their life, that in another three minutes they felt like they were going to die from the freezing cold. Some peoples’ fingers were purple.”
Beyond opening his shop to the public, Elston shared a follow-up video showing himself venturing into the blizzard to save someone.
In the clip, you can see massive snow drifts nearly swallowing cars whole.
@craigthebarber716 #buffalostorm2022 #buffalo #fyp #foryou #broadwaycuts #craigthebarber #shelter #love #hleping #hero ♬ original sound – Craig Elston
A GoFundMe was started to support Elston after he spent days using his shop to house more than 50 people and emptied his vending machines to feed them. He even went out of his way to buy food from nearby shops to feed everyone some sort of Christmas dinner.
It’s nice to see a hero like Eslton stepping up in times of need. The community could use more people like him!