I need a palate cleanser after that last story—and no Hot Men today—and then I came across the story of Candice Payne.
Payne, a local real estate broker in Chicago, like everyone in Chicago, was enduring the unbearable cold last week, but unlike most people, she thought about those stuck in the cold, and decided to do something about it.
“It was 50 below, and I knew they were going to be sleeping on ice and I had to do something.”
And so, Candice Payne contacted the Amber Inn in Chicago and paid for 30 rooms to be available to homeless people left out in the cold. She then took to Instagram and asked for volunteers to help transport the homeless to the hotel and soon she had a fleet of cars and drivers willing to help.
She and the drivers went to a tent city, under the expressway and asked as many people as she could to go with her to the Amber Inn. As the news of her mission broke, more and more people began to donate and Payne was able to not only house over 100 people, but she was able to offer them everything toiletries, food, prenatal vitamins, lotions, deodorants and snacks and made care packages to help make the people feel comfortable. Nearby restaurants donated trays of food and what started out as 30 rooms soon doubled to 60; what started out as a one-night stay, with the homeless staying just until Thursday when the temperatures were expected to rise, turned into several days of warmth and food and kindness.
A lot of folks stepped up, but they might not have done so had it not been for Candice Payne and her idea …
“I am a regular person. It all sounded like a rich person did this, but I’m just a little black girl from the South Side. I thought it was unattainable, but after seeing this and seeing people from all around the world, that just tells me that it’s not that unattainable. We can all do this together.”
And seeing what could be done in a short time has inspired Candice Payne to do more …
“This was a temporary fix, and it has inspired me to come up with more of a permanent solution.”
This is how things change, when people who think they can’t help, or think they don’t know how to help, just step up.
Candice Payne is that kind of person.