...and by "we're back," I mean "I'm back." Welcome to the first post of the 2011-2012 cold weather season for Neighboring The Neighborless! If you're already a friend or follower, you already know what Neighboring The Neighborless is about. For those of you I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet, hello! I'm Kelley and the focus of this blog is to chronicle my journey as I do what I can to help the street people of Chicago survive our city's brutal weather.
Here are the answers to the top three questions I'm asked about what I do:
Why do I do this?
Well, it might sound a little like wishful thinking to some but I truly believe we can change the world by showing others around us a little kindness when they least expect it.
What exactly do I do?
It doesn't take much to help - one of the biggest needs, if you haven't read any of my older posts, is socks. You can't begin to imagine how important socks are - when a homeless person has to walk for hours and hours (loitering is not allowed in most of the city), clean socks mean dry feet. They also mean protection from infection when feet begin to blister after all of the walking. If feet get infected, often gangrene sets in and, eventually an amputation is inevitable. I decided a long time ago that it wouldn't kill me to spend $16 a paycheck on a dozen pair of socks so that's what I do.
When do I do it?
Every year, from Thanksgiving Day through the month of April,I hit the streets on the weekends and on especially stormy nights with whatever I've got to help make someone without a home get through the days and nights. Sometimes I go out on my own, two pink bags full of socks, toiletries and hand warmers, plus two large, steel thermoses, one filled with something warm to eat, the other filled with hot water for coffee, tea and cocoa. Sometimes people join me. And sometimes I join up with other outreaches for special occasions. One such event will be taking place on December 3rd. I'll be joining One Heart, One Soul as they take coats to the homeless. If you'd like to join us, please let me know - we'd love to see you there!
This is my journey - Neighboring The Neighborless. I'm glad you're here!
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