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Here’s How You Can Help Others Stay Warm This Winter

Punxsutawney Phil has officially predicted that we should prepare for six more weeks of winter, and with a quickly approaching winter freeze ready to cross the nation, many are wondering how they are going to withstand the cold.

As last year proved, not everybody is capable of sticking out a winter freeze. In Texas, the entire state’s power grid system failed, leaving millions without electricity, heat or running water, and far too many people dead. Ahead of the next winter freeze, set to roll in tonight, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that (once again) he could not guarantee power would stay on throughout Texas this week. Elsewhere in the northeast, states are experiencing freezing temperatures and excruciating wind chill. Officials are advising everyone to stay inside as much as possible, but that’s not possible for everyone.

While many will be able to find shelter or warm clothes to keep the freeze out, many families are rightfully concerned with the next few weeks of winter. They need your help. In addition to praying for God’s warm protection over His people, consider being the hands of feet of Christ in a few different ways:

Donate Warm Clothes

While you may be tired of last season’s coat, someone else may desperately need an extra bit of warmth. You can drop off warm clothes at shelters and thrift stores in your local community. Or, you can donate money to organizations like Operation Warm, a national organization dedicated to keep young children warm by providing coats and shoes. Many children and workers will be expected to continue life as normal, enduring harsh weather along the way. A warm outfit can make all the difference in frosty weather.

Volunteer at Shelters

The homeless population are especially vulnerable during the winter season. Many people don’t have a safe, insulated escape from the cold weather and turn to shelters for warmth. That means shelters need more volunteers over the next few weeks as there will be a likely influx of visitors. Search for warming shelters in your area and find out how you can help.

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Provide Warm Meals to Those in Need

In addition to warming shelters, soup kitchens are likely to experience more and more visitors in search of a hot meal. Consider dropping off canned goods that would taste great heated up (who doesn’t love a good soup?) or volunteer at the shelter and directly help those in need. Even beyond especially vulnerable populations, you can also provide a warm meal for those around you. One of the most difficult parts of the winter is the isolation that can set in because no one wants to go out. Take the step to maintain community and share a hot meal with someone you care about.

Be a Kind Neighbor

Sometimes the best thing you can do to help someone survive the winter freeze is simply inviting them into your home for some warmth — physically and emotionally. Maybe your friend is having trouble with a bad heater, or maybe their electricity has gone out and they’re afraid of getting too cold. If you have the ability, open up your home and invite them to come and stay while they figure out a plan. Eat some soup with them, start a fire, play a board game — take the time to deepen your friendship. As someone who had to find refuge in a friend’s house last February in Texas, sometimes our neighbors are what we really need to endure the cold weather.

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