• Chris Lewman

Cold. Anything Helps.

Driving through Bend, Oregon, we saw a woman standing on the corner. Her sign read "Cold, anything helps." Sometimes you forget how much you have until you think about what others don’t.

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.”

If you think kindness ROCKS like we do, check these links out:

  • 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

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