I have been cold all winter. Cold toes, cold nose, cold ears, cold everything. Unless you have a thermonuclear core, I would guess you’ve been feeling the same way too. The one thing that gets me through the day is knowing that I can crawl into my cozy flannel sheets at night, with a cup of hot (sometimes boozy) tea, a giant hulk of a husband who throws off a lot of heat, and a fur-lined cat who has taken up the role of my personal muffler this winter (I’m not kidding, we’ve been sharing a pillow all winter and sometimes I steal his tail for my neck).
But a report on WBUR yesterday really made me think about how lucky I am to feel the cold through my Canada Goose puffer coat, my giant ski gloves, and my array of jaunty yet warm hats. [photo below from WBUR - hope they don't mind that I used it]
When the Long Island shelter closed this past October, it increased our city’s displaced homeless population by 30% (yes, apparently the homeless can go from merely homeless to displaced homeless). It also closed the majority of beds used for those seeking rehabilitation from substance abuse. Add in our record snow and the bitter cold, and you have what was described as the “perfect storm” of agony for Bostonians living on the street. Temporary warming shelters have opened in the city, but these are not really shelters, more a place to find a bit of warmth, have a bowl of soup, and be triaged by a doctor before heading back out. They are noisy, dangerous, filled with everyone from drug addicts to pregnant women, and the last resort for desperate workers trying to save desperate people.
I posted about this on my personal Facebook page yesterday, and was pointed toward #BostonWarm, a movement by the fantastic homeless outreach programs at Old South and Emmanuel churches. I spent an eye-opening day at this day program many years ago, handing out sandwiches, talking to people, and working on art projects. It was humbling, to say the least. #BostonWarm has a wish list on Amazon, and the items will make you cry in their simplicity – things like backpacks, gloves, hats, emergency mylar blankets, and hand warmers. The most basic of basic needs that people need to survive this brutal winter. Not to get warm, not to feel cozy, not to feel safe, but just to survive.
I don’t know about you, but ordering from Amazon for me takes about two seconds. My credit card is in there, my favorite addresses are stored, and somewhere along the line I think I even signed up for free shipping. I can spend $100 on Amazon in about two minutes. Yesterday instead of buying sticker books for the kids or bulk flour, I bought hats, gloves and hand warmers.
You guys gave us an amazing sales week last week when we desperately needed it. Sending those hats and gloves yesterday felt like the least I could do to say thank you and to pass it forward. We Bostonians may bitch and moan and gripe and bellyache, but we also take care of each other. When you’re pulling on your gloves today, I’d love if you’d consider sending some to #BostonWarm too.
Coming tomorrow – slow cooker pork ragu, movie and wine pairings, and more.
**UPDATE: From Thursday to Sunday of this week, we will be collecting donation items for #BostonWarm at both of our stores. If you bring a donation in during this time, you will receive 10% off beer and spirits purchases (no minimum or maximum) and bottles of wine, or 20% off cases of wine (12 bottles of wine). Applies to in-stock items only.
- Non-perishable food. Canned items must be in pop-top lids.
- Warm hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and socks. No other clothing items please (they cannot store them on the other side)
- $43 checks made out to City Mission Society with Boston Warm in the memo line. This is to rent storage lockers where the homeless can store their items.
We will deliver all donations to Old South Church next Monday!