Sleeping bags aren't just for camping. They can literally save a life during the cold winter months. That's why it's so gratifying to see one non-profit doing something about it.
TWC News reports that King's Kitchen - a non-profit restaurant in Charlotte - has begun handing out 500 sleeping bags to the city's homeless. This is just the latest effort the non-profit makes to help the homeless as it uses the funds it makes from the restaurant to prepare food for the homeless. In fact, King's Kitchen delivers sandwiches and coffee to those living on the streets every night.
If you live in the area, King's Kitchen is still accepting sleeping bag donations. It can't be stressed enough how important sleeping bags, hand warmers and other goods are to the homeless during the winter months. According to Think Progress, a third of over the half-million homeless in the United States are threatened by cold this Winter. While there are shelters that service the homeless during Winter, many of those shelters don't open until it's already too cold. It's not helping that many cities are making it harder for the homeless to survive because they're worried more about appearances and property values than their fellow man.
If you don't live in Charlotte, there are still many ways to help homeless locally and around the nation. For starters, you can donate to the National Coalition for the Homeless. The organization is dedicated to eradicating homelessness through changes in public policy and helping the homeless find affordable housing. If you want to help on the local level, you can find one of many local charities that serve the homeless over at Great Nonprofits.
I realize it's easy to ignore the homeless. I'm guilty of it as well. People will go out of their way to not recognize those less fortunate than us, even when it's their own family.
With that being said, please do what you can to help those less fortunate than you this holiday season. A Christmas Carol isn't just a nice story we read to make ourselves feel good during the holidays. It's a warning.