The Warmth Wagon in Numbers

Crappy paper banner #2
First, my apologies for not having these numbers on the blog faster--but seriously, I'm a mom to four boys and have done an incredible amount of work single-handedly in the last 72hrs, so I'm doing the best I can. I really appreciate your sticking with me to see the full results and reflections, though, so here's what you need to know about how things panned out:

Monday night, after only one hour of impromptu collecting in the parking lot of a vacant grocery store here in Tiny Town, Koa, Cedar and I hit the streets. In thirty minutes we gave out 52 coats, 15 sleeping bags, 47 hats, 22 pairs of gloves, 36 pairs of socks, 26 sweaters, 16 thermals, 7 thick blankets, and a large grocery sack worth of snacks and handwarmers. I repeat, IN THIRTY MINUTES. It just so happened that we came across a large group waiting in line and lingering about the general area of one of Tiny Town's most beloved cafes, The Little Cheerful, for the Monday Night Soup Kitchen they offer to the community, and this unintentional intersection made it so easy to access a large number of recipients. Bless the people behind the soup kitchen effort, as it was a hoppin' place to be. The windows were covered by the steam of hot breath coming in off the frigid street, and it would have looked like a restaurant full of typical patrons if only I couldn't see the dirt, the exhaustion, the large backpacks and tired eyes each of the guests carried with themselves. As we drove away the boys and I discussed the spectrum of responses we gleaned, reflected on the many blessings we have in our own lives, and blasted the heat in the Warmth Wagon all the way home.

Tuesday morning after Koa and Cedar had left for school, I loaded up Aspen and Birch for another round of street deliveries, followed by a second brief collection period during the lunch hour. This time a longtime friend and photographer, Jen Owen, stopped by to drop off donations. She hung her camera around her neck and stopped periodically, as she was sorting through incoming bags helping me to organize items, to snap some incredible photos. I'm grateful to have evidence of the generosity of my community, as I was too busy to do much more than snap a few pictures with my phone after a while. By the time the thirty minutes was up my van was full once more. (Tiny Town, you are incredible!)

Two more street delivery rounds brought us to four homeless camps, countless individuals as we encountered them, and the doorsteps of the Drop-In Center and other known homeless hangouts. Beyond that, I was able to connect with several local organizations to make large donations of items of immediate need. The YWCA and the Back to Work Boutique, The Interfaith Coalition Men's and Women's Extreme Weather Emergency Shelters, The Lighthouse Mission, Northwest Youth Services, and the Mission Drop-In Center all received overflowing bags. Some received me with warmth and gratitude, others with skepticism and an air of inconvenience, but all in all I am confident in the ability of these organizations to ensure that nothing goes unused.

  • Men's coats: 133
  • Women's coats: 75
  • Teen coats: 16
  • Vests: 22
  • Sleeping bags: 29
  • Blankets: a million
  • Thermals: 2 large bags
  • Sweats: 1 large bag 
  • Men's tops: 1 large bag
  • Women's tops: 1 large bag
  • Sweaters: a GIGANTIC heap (and I'm pretty sure they multiplied overnight)
  • Hats and other head warming gear: 150+
  • Scarves: 50+
  • Children's coats/warm clothing: 9 large bags
  • Coffee cards: 2
  • Hand warmers: 150+
  • Hugs: 33 from donors, 8 from recipients
  • Smiles and good feels: too many to count     
Seriously. So. Many. Hugs!
 Next up... the motivation and reflection piece. Stay tuned for more! 

No comments