The freezing temperatures and blustering winds across the country this week have left many of the economically poor in peril. At the Catholic Worker where I live in Kansas City, Mo. we have guests who are still living outside, even in temperatures well below zero at night.
With these brothers and sisters in mind I would like to make a humble plea. It is inspired by another local Catholic Worker:
When you find yourself heading to the car to run some errands this weekend consider taking some blankets along with you. If you've got a little extra time and money to spare, think about even buying a couple of pairs of thermal underwear while you're out.
If you see a panhandler or homeless person outside as you travel, stop. Ask the person for their name. Ask how they're doing. If you feel comfortable, try and see if they have some place to stay tonight that's away from the cold. Offer them the blanket or thermals from your car. Give them a hug before you go on your way.
Remember that people are extremely vulnerable in weather like this. Let's help one another.