This is a story about human kindness and #BlackGirlMagic. With dangerously cold weather sweeping across the nation, one #Chicago woman decided to take action.
#CandicePayne impulsively charged 20 hotel rooms on her credit card to house the homeless after realizing how life-threatening the sub-zero temperatures would be for them, according to @cbsnews. Her good deed snowballed when she posted about it on social media, which is when the donations and offers to bring food began to pour in.
“Maybe they didn’t know how to or where to start to help, so I’m glad that I was able to be that vehicle,” Payne told #CBSChicago.
She acted fast on Wednesday, when temperatures plummeted to 22 degrees below zero! A group of homeless people had to abandon their tents near a highway after a propane tank they used as a source of heat exploded. Payne and other volunteers dug deep into their pockets to pay for 60 rooms at a hotel on Chicago’s South Side.
Volunteers worked together like a family by turning a hotel bathroom into a makeshift kitchen and collecting donations to help replace the items that were lost. The good deed also brought the volunteers together, allowing them to build friendships even though most of them just met.
Jermaine and Robert, two men who stayed in a hotel room, called Payne their “angel.” When she offered them a warm bed, they were getting ready to sleep on the street or to be charged with trespassing in their attempts to save themselves from the freezing cold.
“We don’t get that type of help,” Jermaine said. “I really needed them at that point, so they came right in time.”
“We hear about that on the news and other places but I seen it up close and personal today, and I really want to thank y’all for looking out for our people,” Robert said.
So far, the volunteers have been able to cover three nights at the hotel for approximately 80 people. They’re hoping to continue working together to help provide a more long-term solution.
Their generosity made sure dozens of people in need had a warm bed to sleep in when conditions outside were life-threatening.
Across the Midwest and Northeast, at least 22 deaths have been connected to the dangerous polar vortex, and winter still has a long way to go.
We praise Payne and her fellow heroes for their kindness and life-saving efforts!
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh