Family helps out laid off trucker

HOUSTON "My family, my kids and I saw your story on the news," said Mark Budro.

A pizza joint in Baytown may not seem like the spot you'd think of to find a Christmas miracle, but that's what happened Wednesday evening. Budro and his family saw our Eyewitness News reports about local truckers losing their jobs a few days before Christmas. Time and again we've seen people in the Houston area step up in times like this.

Budro decided he had to do something to help one of the truckers, so he called James Cooey.

"He said, 'We heard what happened to you and we contacted Miya Shay and she gave us your number and we've got something for you,'" said Cooey.

At the pizza place, Budro handed an envelope to Cooey.

"We have five kids of our own, we don't have a whole lot to give, but we got some cash together for you and a Toys R Us gift card for your kids in here," Budro said.

He and his wife also bought dinner for the Cooey's. The out-of-work trucker said what he really he wants is to work to support his family, but he appreciates the generosity of a stranger who once upon a time found himself suddenly out of work.

"I managed to work my way out of it and I know he will too, but it never hurts to lend a helping hand to people," said Budro.

After a handshake and hugs, the families went their separate ways, each hoping for the best.

About 900 Arrow truckers ended up stranded across the country this week.

Suddenly unemployed workers hope for help

Hundreds of truck drivers face an uncertain future. We told you about them Tuesday. They used to work for the Arrow Trucking Company until the company abruptly closed down operations and left many drivers stranded away from home, and just before Christmas.

It turns out some generous folks in our area and around the country want to help however they can.

Even with no jobs and a bounced paycheck, a few Arrow drivers still trickled into the defunct Houston terminal Wednesday, looking for solace in each other.

"I didn't learn it from somebody here," said driver Christopher Archie. "Another person from another company called me and said, 'You're out of business,' and I said, 'Are you serious?'"

Archie, other drivers, and mechanics for Arrow say the initial shock has worn off. The anger subsided. Now the reality is settling in. They need to find a job, and soon.

"Just hanging in there to see what the new year's going to bring us," said mechanic Anthony Moreno.

And help is finding its way here. On the Internet, more than 1,000 people have joined a Facebook group, listing phone numbers and offering rides to stranded drivers across the country.

In Houston, at least one trucking company says it's willing to interview Arrow truckers for some openings.

"We're going to bring them in on Monday, and put them through the process and see if we can get them on," said David Houk with Victory Trucking.

As for Arrow, its Houston equipment continued to be repossessed all day Wednesday, and the former employees say they haven't heard anything from the company they used to work for.

So the only priority now is to make the best of a disappointing Christmas.

"I'll just spend it with the family," said Archie. "I can't buy anyone no presents or nothing."

The company headquarters is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They released a brief statement on Wednesday, saying they're working with their creditors.

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