Friday, November 7, 2014

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts.

My friend Jessi is always the first person to get cold. While most people are running around in short sleeves, she’s got on a sweater, and in the evening, bragging/complaining about her electric blanket and space heater.

Note: Jessi looks nothing like Nick Offerman.

It’s totally okay though; we trade off on teasing one another about our internal thermostats, as I’m usually the first person to get hot. At like 67°.

What are friends for, right?

One night, not too long ago, I stepped outside of my apartment and thought, ‘Huh, it is a bit cool out. I bet Jessi is freezing! Haha! At least she’s got her layers and space heater!’ But that passing thought kept bothering me. What about the other Jessi’s in my community who don’t have such things? Richmond recently lost one of its homeless outreach facilities, in a town where heating shelters only open in the city in emergency (read: extremely cold,) situations. They don't open for every other winter night that's just plain cold. And despite the great organizations that offer housing, there are still plenty of people who don't make inside on cold nights, for one reason or another And that made me feel...

*sad pug is sad!!!*

I decided that action was needed. Recalling a homeless outreach organization I worked with in the past, The Daily Planet, I checked out their needs on their website. And their list is straight forward:

  • Knit hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Thick socks
  • Blankets
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sleeping bags
  • Winter coats
So I propose this: I want you all to check out your closets, chest of drawers, or heck, maybe even the sale section at Walmart, Target, etc., and see if you've got any of those items. The goal is simple: We can make our notoriously erratic Virginia winters a little easier for those who don’t or can’t have a place to go. I’ll even come pick donations up from you, if that sweetens the deal!

Everyone of us has a scarf or pair of gloves that we never wear or a blanket we never use that just sits in the back of our cars. How many pairs of socks do you have? Do you really need that many? No you don’t. Just do your laundry more often.

If you’re interested in participating, please let me know! If you don’t have my email address, you can message me on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comment section that you’d like to participate. Let's make Richmond a little warmer for some folks this winter!

(Note: I know I have some really cool friends who work with different organizations or heck, they have their own organization. I’m not trying to outshine them or neglect them--I love anyone who’s doing good stuff--this was just the first organization I thought of.)