The #Snowpocalypse is Coming! ...Maybe
Before you rush out to buy every loaf of bread at the grocery store in preparation for the next Ice Age, here are some handy tips to make the wintery weekend better for you and those experiencing homelessness in your community.
Weather reports are predicting a modern-day #Snowpocalypse over the weekend! We love a snow-day as much as the next person, but for those experiencing homelessness in South King County a snow-day can be a life-threatening challenge. So what simple steps can we take to make the cold weather a bit more bearable for those in need?
Carry a Spare Set of Gloves and Heavy Socks with You
This time of year keeping an extra set of gloves and socks in your purse or car could be a major help to someone in need. The cold weather makes layering critical, and for those living unsheltered damp socks pose a real threat to their health. Picking up a few pairs of gloves and warm socks from the dollar store will put you back less than $10, so it's worth stocking up!
Pick Up a Pack of Hand Warmers
While their warmth may be temporary, disposable hand warmers can help someone living unsheltered get the chill out of their bones on a cold night. Since many heated establishments require a purchase to use their facilities, people experiencing homelessness may be forced to remain outside for long periods of time. Having a pack of hand warmers tucked into gloves or shoes means, even if someone is forced to be out in the cold, their fingers and toes can remain cozy and warm for hours.
Pay it Forward with a Coffee or Tea
Many coffee shops allow you to prepay for a hot drink for someone. Even just a few dollars could help someone in need get a hot drink and a few minutes inside a warm building. Next time you head out to pick up your morning latte, tell the barista you'd like to buy a drink for someone in need as well. This small gesture takes only seconds but could brighten someones whole day.
Volunteer at Your Local Soup Kitchen or Shelter
While this may require a bit more pre-planning, there's no better way to spend your free time than by giving back to those in need. During the winter season social services may find themselves overburdened as more people seek hot food and warm beds than in Summer months. Many of these organizations rely on volunteer labor to meet the needs of their clients, and are happy for extra hands willing to help. Give your local shelter, food bank, or soup kitchen a call and see if they could use some assistance. As an added bonus you won't get cabin fever from being snowed in your house all weekend!
We hope these four simple tips gave you some ideas for the coming #Snowpocalypse. As always, if you or someone you know is between the ages of 12 to 24 and in need of emergency shelter over the weekend please contact us! Our shelters are open every day, regardless of how much snow is on the ground.
While you're trapped at home, rationing the last can of ravioli and waiting for the sun to melt the ice which has sealed the door shut, here's a warming curry recipe which is quick, easy, and delicious on cold, snowy days.
Delicious Japanese curry for a quick, easy dinner! Tender pieces of onions, carrots and potatoes cooked in a rich savory curry sauce, this Japanese version of curry is a must-try for your family meal.
Prep Time 30 mins - Cook Time 1 hr - Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
1.2 lb tofu, chicken, beef, pork, or vegetables, chopped in bite-sized pieces.
2 carrots, chopped in 1/2" pieces.
2 onions, thinly sliced.
1 to 2 potatoes, washed and chopped in bite-sized pieces.
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced.
7oz Japanese curry roux (We used Golden Curry, found in the Asian section at your local grocery store.)
4 Cups water or vegetable stock.
1 to 2 Tbsp soy sauce.
1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil.
1 Tbsp ketchup.
1 Tbsp honey, ginger, and applesauce (optional)
Green Onions to garnish.
Prep your vegetables by chopping into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice onions, and mince garlic (and ginger if using fresh).
Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat, and saute the onions, garlic, and ginger until the onions become translucent.
Add chosen tofu, vegetables, or meat and cook until done.
Add 4 Cups water or stock to the mixture and bring to a boil.
Add potatoes and carrots, along with honey and applesauce if desired.
When the potatoes begin to soften, add in the Japanese curry roux and let it slowly dissolve into the mixture.
Reduce heat to medium low, and add soy sauce and ketchup. Other possible additions are dark chocolate, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and coconut milk.
Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the roux is completely dissolved into the mixture, then allow to reduce until the curry reaches your desired thickness.
Serve hot on top of spaghetti or Japanese white rice, and top with diced green onions.
This curry is hot and satisfying, with a nice kick from the spices of the roux. Stored in plastic containers in the fridge for up to 3 days, this curry will be even more delicious the next day!