Acts of Kindness
Tired drivers stuck in traffic for 30+ hours spot truck driver emptying truck to feed them
The traffic jam lasted for 50 miles so as one can imagine the drivers and their passengers were tired, cranky and hungry.
Ma Fatima Garcia
01.11.22

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama

Many drivers started the New Year with fear, frustration, anxiety, and extreme hunger.

These drivers were stranded in traffic for more than 30 hours on I95 last January 03, 2022.

Pexels/Mikechie Esparagoza
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Pexels/Mikechie Esparagoza

Being stuck in traffic for an hour or two can already make you angry. So, imagine the whirlwind of emotions these people have felt.

They were not prepared for this. Most of them consisted of families with elders and babies.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, I-95 around Fredericksburg was open. Unfortunately, there were still some icy conditions that persisted.

Pexels/Justin Hamilton
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Pexels/Justin Hamilton

Their crews tirelessly worked through Tuesday to help free a 50-mile traffic jam.

People who were trapped in their cars for more than a day were already exhausted and hungry.

To make matters worse, there was a power outage. There was no option for them to eat in the restaurants.

Pexels/Nathan Cowley
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Pexels/Nathan Cowley

Casey Holihan, and her husband John Noe, were among the people who got stranded that night.

“It was definitely a very scary situation and we had no idea how long we would be there for,” Holihan said in her interview with WBALTV.

Indeed, you’d feel terrified because people were getting desperate, and all of these people were tired and hungry.

Pexels/thevibrantmachine
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Pexels/thevibrantmachine

“We went to bed that night in the car because we just couldn’t go anywhere, we were exhausted from driving all day and being so stressed,” Holihan said added.

Then, they saw a truck that was also stranded.

It was the truck of the well-known Schmidt Baking Company.

Pexels/TerjeSollie
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Pexels/TerjeSollie

“(On) kind of on a whim, I just called the customer service line of Schmidt’s Bread. I kind of begged them to open the back of the truck and just give us a couple of loaves of bread so we could share with the people around us,” Holihan added.

Even though they tried, the couple didn’t expect anything.

Then, after 20 minutes, they received a call from Chuck Paterakis himself, the owner of Schmidt Baking Co.

Paterakis informed Holihan that they decided to give away their bread.

Of course, Holihan and her husband were ecstatic! They got out of their car and helped the driver pass the loaves of bread around.

“We just kept giving it out until we couldn’t walk anymore because it was so freezing,” Holihan said. “It felt incredible just hearing people say thank you and hearing people just so relieved to finally have food in their car, food in their system and in their kids’ system. It was a really incredible feeling.”

For Paterakis, he felt relieved and happy.

He knew he was able to help many people and that his truck was stranded there for a reason.

“I’m so pleased that the people who were hungry, that hadn’t eaten for the past 24 hours, had a chance, even if it was bread, had the chance to fill their stomachs up. It was very gratifying to me. It was something I will always remember,” Paterakis said with a smile.

Everyone was so happy.

Imagine being hungry? Imagine your loved ones crying because they’re all hungry?

Then someone knocks on your car window and gives you bread?

“This company is incredible. This bread truck was on the way to being delivered. The company definitely could have made a profit off the bread but instead chose to help the people around them,” Holihan said to WBALTV, “That is just so incredible that someone chose humanity over profit, especially in a situation that people were so desperate.”

After they got home, Holihan posted her photos and story on her Facebook account. Her post quickly went viral.

It now has more than 50K reactions and 29K shares.

They might have experienced a challenging day, but seeing how there are people who are willing to help makes a whole lot of difference.

There are great people out there.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Ma Fatima Garcia
hi@sbly.com
Ma Fatima Garcia is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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