And yes, it was cold enough for me too.
This past weekend I worked at the Itafari Booth at the Lake Oswego European Market selling the baskets of Rwanda. From 9-4 on Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday, I stood in our little booth and talked about the amazing women of Rwanda. The amazing resiliency of the Rwandan people. What an amazing gift of $25 for a goat can be for a child headed household. The amazing difference that can be made with such small amounts of money when applied in thoughtful ways. And how damn (for those of you that don’t swear, that’s a coaching expression!) cold it was.
And it was cold. We were in a tent but the bottom of the tent left about a foot gap. Saturday, the temperature began around 31°F and over the course of the day reached 42°F. Though the tent had this gaping hole, the sun came out; there was no wind in the morning and a slight wind in the afternoon from the NNE of 8 mph. That evening I went to event and by the time I headed home at 10pm the temperature was back down to 37° and the wind was still gusty at 7 mph. (felt like 26°F) COLD. But I was bundled up and could hurry to my car and then to my warm home.
Yesterday John and I arrived at the booth at 8:45am to a much harsher situation. 34°F with winds from the ENE at 16mph. (wind chill made it feel like 24°F) The wind was picking up our side of the tent and then slamming it back down. John secured it as best he could and then we went out for a hot breakfast with our friends from Seattle – returning at noon.
The sun came out but the wind continued to blow. Shoppers hurried by our booth, everyone looked and felt COLD. We were all remarking about the weather. A bit too cold for the European festival we wanted. And the coldness came through my underclothes, by sweater, my coat, my gloves, my hat, my socks, and my boots. And all I could think about was the homeless in Portland. Who were experiencing the same weather, without ANY of the comforts I know.
Maybe a blanket, maybe a coat, hopefully a hot meal; but for many, another night on the street. I really can’t imagine being in the weather that we’re experiencing and being much colder than I was yesterday – ALL day – with no relief.
So I’ll do something about it. I’ll do what I can which is give a donation to the Portland Rescue Mission who every day choose to help our homeless. I care not for your opinion on how they got there, if they deserve it, and if they could do more to help themselves. That’s not the point of my point. My point is that I want to help the homeless be warm.
Today is colder than yesterday. It’s 23°F with a wind chill that makes it feel like 9°. So doing what I can is what I must do.
Take an opportunity to complete your charitable giving this week. Charities are really hurting this year. I know. The Itafari Foundation has received considerably fewer contributions – and we’re not alone.
You are welcome to give to us: Itafari Foundation. If you’re giving needs to be more local, consider Portland Rescue Mission. If you’re outside of Portland, who in your community could use some help? With whom do you resonate? What causes are dear to your heart? Now is the time.
Give a gift. Make a difference. And bundle up: it’s cold out there.