So. It’s freezing. In my neck of the woods, we’re down to -35 wind chills, which I cannot even type without experiencing mild frostbite on my fingers. I did, however, hold myself back from tweeting “#snowver it” yesterday, so I’m giving myself gold stars for a faux optimistic attitude this morning. But listen. I have a home and a bed and a working furnace and blankets, and there are many that aren’t quite so blessed this evening. Whether you’ve cleaned out your closets in a fit of New Years Resolution decluttering or not, here are a few things to buy or gather to help keep a few bodies warm tonight. Grab your kids, neighbors, friends — whomever — and get thee to your local homeless shelter (find one here) ASAP. Because in the midst of a polar vortex, our hearts could all stand to get a wee bit warmer:
Read On … 1 of 9
Want a small, simple idea to reach out to your community? Warm up the homeless tonight in these 8 easy ways ...
Stock up on cozy blankets 2 of 9
Chances are, you've got a plethora of spare blankets that are collecting dust in your attic, trunks, or closets. Gather them up and drop them off at a local rescue mission or homeless shelter. If you've already purged, head to Target to snag these ultra plush blankets for just $23.
Buy weatherproof boots 3 of 9
A good rule of thumb when figuring out which items to donate to the homeless? If you'd wear it to shovel snow, give it away. These PVC boots offer full coverage in a variety of sizes — and are an easy gift to give at just $27.
Gather spare work shirts 4 of 9
Mens' clothing is in higher demand on the streets, as women and children are often given shelter first. Gather some spare work shirts around your own home, or gift this heavy duty flannel from Amazon for $32.
Give the gift of heat 5 of 9
These tiny hand warmers ($16 for 10) are perfect for stuffing in boots, shoes, or gloves and can make all the difference in survival for these colder-than-cold nights, providing up to 200 hours of heat.
Buy warm hats 6 of 9
Beanies, knits, and hats are a smart donation — if it covers your ears, it's a good one to gift. This one is just $6 and is one size fits most, making it an affordable donation if you don't already have a spare.
Help them layer with a warm hoodie 7 of 9
Layers are key to keeping the chill at bay, so grab some old hoodies to add to the mix. This one has a sherpa lining for extra coverage — and is only $16!
Collect socks — even the mismatched ones! 8 of 9
Finally — a good use for the mismatched socks that tumble out of your dryer weekly (where DO they go?). Gather as many as you can find, or gift a brand new wool pair ($15) to make someone that much more comfortable.
Give them warm gloves 9 of 9
If you don't have spare gloves, stock up on these budget buys ($1.50 each!) and donate away. Stretch knit is best for one size fits most, but if you've got some all-weather options in your spare closet, all the better.