30 Acts of Kindness Task 14: Hypothermia Shelter Dinner

During February, March (because snow is not my friend) I’m celebrating my 30th Birthday with 30 Acts of Kindness suggested by readers
The point of these posts isn’t to “brag” about what I’ve been doing,
but rather to raise awareness about different organizations in
Prince William County and share how you and your family can get
involved in making our area a better place to live.  If you’d like
to join me in any of my assignments, or if you participate in one on
your own, I’d love to get your picture and/or story to share!! I’d
love to think this is making a difference, and I hope that you’ll
join me!  

The Bill Mehr Drop-In Shelter is run by the Cooperative Council of Ministries (CCOM) and is located at 14730 Potomac Mills Road.  If you’re on Telegraph Road just past Toys R Us, where you could turn left onto Opitz/Smoketown to go to Wegmans, but you go straight towards the bus depot instead, you will eventually dead-end into the shelter.   From November 1-March 31 from 6:30pm-7am, this space is also used as a 50-bed hypothermia shelter.  This allows area residents who typically sleep in tents or other makeshift spaces to come in from the cold and sleep safely.  The space also offers shower facilities.  Patrons are offered a ride to churches on some nights where dinner is provided, but some cannot or prefer not to go, and some nights there’s not a dinner option, so I was very excited that you guys helped me to bring a simple meal over.  Chick Fil A Sudley Manor Drive happened to be celebrating their 50th Anniversary of the Chick Fil A Sandwich by giving away 50 of them.  To win, entrants just had to say what they’d do with the sandwiches and have friends/family/facebook vote for their idea.  You guys are an awesome flash mob 😉  I picked up all 50 of my sandwiches at once and drove them over to Woodbridge one fine Wednesday evening.

My car smelled so buttery and delicious.  

I needed to take the heated bag back to CFA, so I had a good excuse to sit and chat with folks while they ate.  I love talking to people, and there were a lot of really great stories shared around the table.  This was a really easy and quick way to do something positive.  We actually did this as an impromptu family project when the “Polar Vortex” first came though.  My mom really has a heart for people not being cold- it’s actually an ongoing joke with us that she cannot drive through DC in the winter without “losing” her coat.  She and her BFF brought over materials to my house and with my kids we packaged PBJs, Cup of Noodles, Crackers, and a treat up so the shelter could hand them out.  There’s a kitchen in the facility, so hot water, microwave, and fridge are available. Simple, easy, and still helpful- this was definitely an easy act for anyone to try!! I bet it’d work just as well with $5 pizzas from Little Caesar’s if you don’t have a contest to win! 

PS- while the shelter will be closing at the end of the month for evenings, they’ll still have the drop-in shelter open during the day.  They have a list of needed items, including boots in various sizes, on their website, so be sure to check that out!