Heart Warming Coffee on a Freezing Day
LLCS Extreme Weather Response Street Distribution
On Saturday, January 13, 2024, the temperature outside hit a low of -11°C, prompting Lotus Light Charity Society to gather available winter supplies and food to distribute them amongst the homeless individuals within the neighbourhood in accordance to their extreme weather response (EWR) plan.
The volunteers from Lotus Light carted out these supplies and set up a table on the sidewalk near the intersection of Gore Ave and Hastings St. Luckily, the sun was still shining brightly as the volunteers started distribution. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to ward off the chilly air as volunteers and recipients alike had runny noses. Thankfully, Starbucks sponsored a large cambro container of hot coffee, perfect for a day as cold as this one. One of the volunteers was in charge of the coffee – mixing cream and sugar to the recipients’ preferences and serving it to them. Two volunteers were distributing miscellaneous snacks, baked goods, and small beverages: chips, granola bars, donuts, bagels, buns, bags of granola, small cartons of chocolate milk, juice, etc. The last volunteer was responsible for distributing backpacks which were filled with winter supplies like a blanket, gloves, a toque, socks, masks, a disposable rain poncho, and a hygiene kit. These backpacks were graciously sponsored by NOVAGOLD for Lotus Light’s annual winter charity drive, and a small portion was reserved for their extreme weather response plan. There were only a limited number of these backpacks, and volunteers aimed to give them to those who needed it most.
Despite the freezing temperatures chilling everyone to the bone, the gratitude that the volunteers received from those that they helped was very heartwarming and made their efforts worth it, instilling a sense of unity during these trying times.