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Cold. Anything Helps.

We spent the day life planning – a coffee shop date with our laptops open, entering numbers into our budget spreadsheet, setting goals, list-making, discussing wants versus needs. We ended the day by grabbing an early dinner at a local restaurant. I usually drive but my wife decided to hop in the driver’s seat. Driving home, Amanda saw a woman sitting on the corner with her dog.

Her sign read: “Cold. Anything helps.”

Last night the low here in Oregon was 37 and will be similar the rest of this week. She felt compelled to turn around and go back. We rarely carry cash but we had $10, dog treats we keep in the car, granola bars in the glovebox for days we travel, a couple of extra blankets, and some random clothes in the back – stocking cap, gloves and a zip up sweatshirt. All this woman had was a sleeping bag. Amanda walked over and said hello. The woman started to cry and asked “Are you sure you want to give all of that to me?” Amanda gave her a hug and asked what her name was.

She said “My name is Linda. I can’t remember the last time someone hugged me. I love you guys.”

Sometimes you forget how much you have until you think about what others don’t.

This isn’t meant to brag about how amazing my wife is, although I could write about that for days. I know we all can’t stop for every person on the street we see. This is just a challenge for anyone who wants to take it to look at the “extras” that are just lying around. Things that are going unused can make a huge difference to someone who needs them. Just a small wish I’m sending out to the universe. When you feel compelled to do something, just do it.

“Spread kindness like it’s money and pretend you’re a billionaire.”


  • For friends in KC, my buddy Dan Long does an annual drive called “Share the Warmth” and I know he would be happy to collect coats, hats, gloves and blankets.
  • Citypak Project – Pack’s designed to give people who live on the streets a tool to keep their belongings safe
  • Miracle Messages – Everyone has a story. Volunteers using phones to record video messages from homeless to their long lost love ones and shared on social to find/deliver/reconnect.
  • Lava Mae – Converted from buses into mobile bathrooms with showers and toilets to restore dignity for homeless in San Francisco.
  • Shower to the People and Raise the Bar – Mobile shower and social enterprise that employs homeless.
  • Homeless Friend and National Homeless – Ending homelessness
Post Author
Chris Lewman
As the youngest of six siblings, I learned patience at an early age. I'm lucky to have a ridiculously supportive family, a loving wife, and 2 dogs who we honestly believe are going to wake up one day and start talking to us. Tiny living appeals to me because it forces you to live more intentionally. Fifty years from now, I don't think we'll regret one minute of this road trip we are living.


  1. posted by
    Sep 6, 2016 Reply

    Such a beautiful and heart warming example of true giving. Thank you for this Sweet reminder to look around and help where you are.

    • posted by
      Chris Lewman
      Sep 6, 2016 Reply

      Thanks, Rachelle. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing – sometimes it’s easy to forget. She was our reminder.

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