When I meet someone new and mention I live in Orlando, they immediately comment on how lovely it must be to have nice weather year round. While we do experience warm weather most of the year, the reality of it is that Orlando also experiences freezing temperatures during Winter months and inclement weather throughout the year (e.g. hurricanes and tropical storms).
While our winter may not last for months, just a night or two of freezing temperatures can make our local homeless shelters fill up quickly. I live in downtown Orlando so I see first-hand that homelessness is a major problem and it does include children! Just driving by or walking through the city, I see homeless people claiming their spots out of the wind and hunkering down with whatever types of blankets or items they can find to try to stay warm.
With that said, I am proud to support the Energizer Light Up A Life Champions for Kids Campaign, which is an effort to start an epidemic of giving to children in communities across the nation. My goal is to help at least one homeless child survive a night of freezing temperatures!
Did You Know?
• Over 9 million children suffer from non-fatal injuries each year, and accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Additionally, dangerous weather events cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year.
• 70% of power outages in the U.S. are weather related. Numerous power failures are caused by natural weather phenomena such as lightening, rain, snow, ice, wind, and even dust.
• The Center of Disease Control recommends having a kit ready in preparation for any emergency that may arise. They recommend the kit include food, water, flash light, extra batteries, medications, first aid kit, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, and other necessities.
I knew immediately I wanted to help Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. This organization is the largest provider of homeless services in Central Florida! The Coalition serves nearly 600 men, women and children every single night.
Check out these statistics from Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida about how they helped our community last fiscal year.
- Provided over 245,000 nights of shelter.
- Provided nearly 79,000 nights of shelter to children.
- Served more than 300,000 meals.
- There are 49,885 school-aged children homeless in Florida.
- 20,952 are children under the age of 6.
- There are 23,404 homeless Florida students enrolled in grades K-8 (children not enrolled in school are not counted).
- There are 5,530 homeless Florida students enrolled in grades 9-12 (children not enrolled in school are not counted).
- The high school graduation rate for homeless students is less than 25%.
- Central Florida saw a 20% increase in homeless women and children in the past year.
- A blanket
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Non-perishable, healthy snacks
- Bottled water
- First aid kit
- Antibacterial hand wipes
What else should we include in our Winter Survival kit? I’d love your thoughts and feedback.
While donating one kit to Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida doesn’t seem like much, it will help at least one child survive a freezing night (we experienced two nights of freezing temperatures just last week).
Together, WE can make a difference!
Will YOU join me and keep a child safe?
I encourage YOU to bring much needed survival and safety items to organizations that help children in need. Contact local churches, organizations such as The Salvation Army, family shelters, etc. Even small gestures of kindness can make a big difference! Sometimes we take for granted how blessed we truly are, but when we sit back and picture a child shivering in the cold without a warm bed to snuggle up in, it truly is heartbreaking.
* This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias; however, all opinions are my own. #EnergizerCFK #CBias #ChampionsForKids