The United States is in the middle of a polar vortex and none of us were prepared for how bad it was going to get.
As of Monday, I didn't know what a polar vortex was and I'm sure a lot of you don't either. Basically, a polar vortex is an area of low pressure that keeps the cold air up north. Right now, the jet stream is bringing the air south towards the United States sending our temperatures down fast.
These record-breaking temperatures are not what any of us are used to. With the wind chill, some states are dropping to -60 degrees. With this kind of weather, you can get frostbite in 5 minutes! 5 minutes!
You might be planning a different walk to work, class, or the store. For some people, that's not an option.
Approximately 80,000 people in Chicago are homeless. For some, that means residing in shelters, but for others, that means doing their best to survive. Buying a nice winter coat is an investment for the homeless because it is that expensive. My friends are out here wearing two pairs of socks, but some of the homeless are lucky enough if they can get one. No amount of clothing can protect you for extended hours at once.
So next time you are complaining about being cold during your 5-10 minute walk somewhere, think about how fortunate you are to know you have a place to go. Whether you have a $200 winter coat or a $20 winter coat, a house with heat or without, 10 blankets or one, you are so incredibly blessed in these hard times.
Please consider donating to your local homeless shelter. Any amount of clothing, food, water, blankets, and money helps more than you think. If you cannot afford any of that, keep the homeless community in your thoughts and prayers.