Yesterday I trekked into Manhattan from my home in Queens. Knowing I would be walking a few blocks to and from the subway I equipped for the frigid temperatures. I was wearing wool socks, hiking boots, a very wind proof coat, thick sweatshirt, a nice hat that covered my neck and even two pairs of gloves. And in 13 degree temperatures I was pretty cold, but within a few minutes of getting inside and after a few sips of coffee I was nice and toasty. I even took off my wintertime gear so I would be comfortable.
But, I felt guilty as I have felt throughout this "Freezewave" about the homeless. Unlike me, they may not have the ability switch into thicker socks or add a under layer. Or even go inside somewhere warm to heat up a little bit. When my toes are cold and I blast the lower heater in my car, my heart breaks a little imagining the mind numbing pain some of the city's homeless are forced to deal with.
Several months ago I helped out with a group who brings supplies directly to the homeless and it felt good and extremely humbling. That first night was very dry and pretty mild. The next few times it got colder and colder. I expect when I go again in a few weeks it will be worse than I've ever seen. But going out to help serve those people seems like the right thing for me to be doing.
I've tried collecting goods, coats, hats, blankets to give to the people who run these outreach programs. And every bit helps, but more can be done. Look up your local charities, perhaps your church, synagogue, mosque, or even police department is looking for donations give what you can.
I think we all want to make the world a better place for our kids, I think our kids would appreciate a place where somebody's son or daughter doesn't freeze to death in the streets because they don't have the basic things they need to survive.