Warm Hearts in the Cold

Feb 19, 2021 | by Haley Lysinger

When temperatures plummeted in Kansas City, many residents still had to brave the dangerous cold as a part of their daily errands. One woman trudged through the snow and ice to get to the grocery store. Normally, the one-mile journey on foot is a nice bit of exercise. Not so on Tuesday.

“She just needed a place to come in and get out of the cold for just a few minutes,” said Major Beverly Best of the Kansas City, Kan. corps community center. “We could tell how grateful she was that our doors were open and available right when she needed to warm up.”

Seven of The Salvation Army’s corps community centers in the Kansas City area opened their doors to serve as warming shelters during the worst of the freezing cold in mid-February. It was a historic deep freeze, with the city not getting higher than single-digit temperatures for six days, a new record.

 An over-taxed power grid added to the complex challenge facing thousands of residents who needed to stay warm and access electricity when they were caught in rolling blackouts. Many people found power outlets they could use to charge their phones when they couldn’t at home.

“Our mission is to stay ready and available whenever someone needs us, no matter how many people do, it is still a success,” said Lieutenant Nate Woodard of the Olathe, Kan. corps community center.

Providing help also meant going out into the cold to meet people where they are. The Emergency Disaster Services Honk n Holler canteen hit the streets, providing warm meals and over 30 blankets, hand warmers, socks, and hats to people battling the frigid temperatures.

“Our goal is to first make their lives comfortable and second to encourage them to join programs that will give them tools to create a better life,” said Steve Leiker, Metro KC Emergency Disaster Services Coordinator.

No matter how cold the temperatures fall, The Salvation Army is dedicated to providing assistance whenever and wherever it's needed most. Sharing our warm hearts with people in need.

The true impact of the freezing cold temperatures may not be seen for a few more weeks until people’s gas and electricity bills start arriving in the mail. When that happens, The Salvation Army will still be there to help families make ends meet to afford the bigger bills that come with colder temperatures.

If you would like to warm the hearts of people suffering in the cold, you can donate by clicking here.

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