Colonie boy helps stranger in wheelchair get home during snowstorm

November 16, 2018 06:02 PM

COLONIE - A young boy from Colonie didn't let the snow and cold stop him from helping someone in need. He saw a man who was outside and struggling - and realized no one was helping him - so he did.

It was dark and snowing and cold Thursday night when 11-year-old Josh Cuzdey and his mom, Danielle, got to the supermarket in Colonie. Before he even got out of the car, he noticed a man in a wheelchair with grocery bags struggling to navigate his way through the parking lot.

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Josh jumped out of the car and ran over to the man. Danielle wasn't sure what he was doing. Then she saw him talk to the man - and start pushing his chair for him.

Josh kept getting further and further away, so mom drove over to him. Turns out the man didn't have a vehicle. He was trying to get home to the Tompkins Motel - about a half mile down Central Avenue. Josh asked if they could give him a ride.

Mom wasn't so sure, but Josh persisted -- worried about the man being cold and his bags getting wet. So they loaded his chair in their van and drove him home.

It all happened so fast, they didn't even get his name. That changed on Friday.

Keith Oakes, 62, lost his right leg over a year ago. His first wheelchair was stolen. He now uses another one to get to the market. It wasn't snowing when he got there Thursday - and was surprised when Josh offered to help him on the way out.

He says he tries to be independent, but the weather was just too bad to not accept the help.

Oakes was clearly touched by Josh's kindness and hopeful it spurs more of the same.

It turns out Josh has done more good than this random act of kindness. Every year around the holidays, he collects food for the hungry - and donates some of his own Christmas gifts to Toys for Tots, setting an example for us all.


Jerry Gretzinger

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