01/11/2010 12:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Freezin' for a Reason

Picture this; you've just had a very filling dinner with some friends at your favorite restaurant. You left your coat in the car because you figured your walk to the restaurant was short enough as to where you would not get too cold. But as you are walking back to your car you noticed that the temperature has dropped drastically to a glacial 15 degrees while you were in the restaurant. You didn't bother to valet your car and now you are upset because you have to walk to your car in the frigid cold. As you're walking you begin to think and wonder how in the world the homeless do it. How do they manage to stay in the cold during some of the coldest months of the year? Well, maybe because they have no other choice in some cases.

Have you ever thought what it would be like to stay outside in 15-30 degree weather for hours at a time? Well this was the thought process of a group of people from Blue Springs, MO. A group of 11 people decided to sleep outside over the weekend to raise awareness of what it is like to be homeless during the cold winter months. This group of individuals decided to take action by placing themselves in the shoes of the homeless to not only spark an awareness of the issue but to also generate donations from the community to help those that are less fortunate during the winter season. Of the 11, only five people made it through the entire weekend, sleeping outside in sub-zero temperatures, under tarps and in cardboard boxes, because the cold was just simply unbearable. The only difference between us and the homeless is after we spend just a moment or maybe even a night outside, we still have a place to call home. We can always say, "uh no, I think I better head back inside now"..we can walk away from the cold.

Let us not let the freezing temperatures be the only thing that reminds us of the dispossessed. Now, you are probably thinking to yourself, "Well, what can I do about the problem," or "this problem is bigger than me." Well, here is a suggestion for both of your concerns. There is something you can do; your best approach is to donate coats and blankets, food, cash and time to agencies that will be able to use these resources effectively. And you're right, this issue is bigger than you, it's bigger than me, but it is not bigger than us. What I mean by that is simply.... it takes a village.