Kiryas Joel Chaveirim members sprang into action to assist passengers of a bus that had broken down on a highway in the wee hours of the morning.
The chartered bus was carrying 27 people from a wedding in Monsey back home to Montreal early last Wednesday morning. It broke down around 3:00 a.m., as the bus passed near Monroe on the New York State Thruway.
The driver called in for a new bus from Montreal, which would take six hours to arrive.
As the passengers waited with the broken bus at a gas station, one of them called Chaveirim in nearby Kiryas Joel. The chessed organization known for helping stranded motorists began waking up its members to assist the passengers.
Three Chaveirim members with vans drove to the gas station; their initial plan was to bring the passengers to Monroe and find them homes to sleep in until the new bus arrived. But then the Chaveirim volunteers decided, why not help them all the way by driving them to Montreal?
Less than 45 minutes after the initial call was placed to Chaveirim, the passengers were on their way to Montreal. The bus driver – who left the broken bus at the gas station and joined his passengers for the van trip to Montreal – said he has been driving for 35 years and never seen such a quick and warmhearted communal response to a break-down.
As Kiryas Joel is situated right near three major highways – the Thruway, NYS Route 17 and Interstate 84 – its Chaveirim branch often received calls from distressed motorists. Last week’s incident was just the latest example of how its members do whatever it takes to help motorists, at anytime of day or night.
“This has always been the goal of both KJ Chaveirim, and the KJ community at large,” a Chaveirim member, who asked not to be identified, told Hamodia. “To get them help in the right way they really need – it’s not about doing things in a way that will save the most money, but about doing things in a way that will save the most agmas nefesh.”