The Warmth Wagon

A Community Support Flash Mob

There is a great heart in my Tiny Town. The humanity is palpable here, and once again when I asked for help I received it in spades. I am awed and humbled to be connected to so many generous individuals through my networks. Let me tell you what happened...

Monday morning, 10am: I am drinking hot coffee in my warm house, reading facebook posts of friends while my children play nearby. A friend posted a link to the NOAA Severe Weather Alert for our area, promising record-breaking low temperatures for days and nights on end. People die in weather like this.

10:15am: Talking to my partner on the phone, we discuss the weather warning briefly. After my phone call I open the back door to put out some recycling. The chill of the air on my skin and the way the frigidity swept my breath away triggered a somatic memory. For those of you who don't speak academia-ease, this type of memory is one stored in the body. My body shook from the chill when I shut the door, and my mind suddenly returned to place I've been before but not for a very, very long time.

10:16-10:27am: Pace the floor, nurse Aspen, and contemplate whether or not I could actually pull off my next big idea. Decide that, yes, I could.
Initiate Community Support Flash Mob!
10:28am: Begin drafting facebook event post.

11am: Start to share event with friends and facebook groups and watch it spread like wildfire.

4-5pm: Greet 25 adults and 9 children and thank them for the things they deliver. Challenge older man in parking lot who tells me my "crappy paper banner isn't doing much for [my] cause," by replying: "My crappy paper banner is doing more for our community than your cynical apathy." I notice how nice his rig is, how warm and happily retired and taken care of he looks, and realize that he couldn't possibly empathize with someone sleeping on the ground in these temperatures because he couldn't even sympathize. I decide everything I'm doing is important and commit to doing as much as possible in the next 24 hours to help my cold neighbors. Again, being homeless in weather like this can actually kill people. I don't have money to buy all the cold weather gear myself but I have time, a facebook account, and this sweet ride:

Stay tuned for more on what happened next!

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