I'll leave you with this story of community and hope

I'll leave you with this story of community and hope

Good Morning Challengers

What a February it has been! Here in Toronto, it was very warm (a new normal?) but outside of southern Ontario I think it was gorgeous and snowy.  I spoke to Robyn yesterday and she said Banff is -25 and very snowy. Right now, in Toronto,  I'm watching it snow out my window, but yesterday it  was +10. 

Earlier this month OG January baby, Robyn sent me a story about how the town of Banff came together to help someone in their community, and I thought it was a wonderful message of hope to end this year's Challenge with. Thank you if you were following along, I hope you had lots of outdoors time this month, and until next year...

have an outdoorys day.

 The Outdoors Man

by Robyn Redish

I would like to talk about something I witnessed in town over the last several weeks. As I mentioned previously, we had a Polar Vortex. It was too cold to walk to the grocery store, let alone just sit outside all day. Which is what a member of this town had been doing for months.
frozen eyelashes banff
While I live in a polished, pretty tourist destination, where wealthy people from around the world can spend thousands of dollars in a weekend to ski, there is a (sometimes) really sad reality for the locals here.
It is so expensive, and housing is nearly impossible to find. We have a food bank every week that has a line that trails up and out of the mall basement where it's located. Our local YWCA has a months-long wait list.Like many beautiful things, there can be sadness directly behind it.In our town, we have an 'outdoors man' (he was referred to as this in a newspaper article, so I will say that as well), who I see almost every day, sitting outside of the grocery store. I always wish him a good day, or pick him up a sandwich when I can. I have noticed him for months now, thinking about the juxtaposition of people staying at the Fairmont hotel for $700 a night, and this man, who slept in a parking garage.freezing in banffWhen the cold spell was on its way, I read a post on social media, written by a local hairdresser, who was asking locals to donate a single dollar, and if we all did that, she could put up the outdoors man in a hotel while the weather was dangerous.When I checked the donation page, it had several thousands of dollars. and endless comments that were along the lines of "I was worried about this man, I thought about calling the YWCA for him"It seemed that so many locals were worried about him, and had noticed him. And when this one person took the initiative to start a Go Fund Me, everyone was happy to give what they could.They ended up receiving so many donations, that they were able to put him in a hotel not only for the cold spell, but for the following weeks this winter. Not to mention the amount of clothing and food donation they got for him.Being from the city, where homelessness is so rampant, such a crisis, there was a part of me that was desensitized by it. I remember living in downtown Toronto and watching a person physically step over a man sleeping on the sidewalk. To see this on a much smaller scale, it seemed as though everyone helped, and you had no choice but to pay attention. To see a community come together like this was so inspiring.There is no stepping over someone when it's just one person.All of this happened several weeks ago, and since then, whenever I see this outdoors man, I stop and say hello, and there is such a difference. This man looks fed, and happy, and smiles all the time now, and the hairdresser gave him a hair cut too!I don't necessarily have a challenge for this post either, I won't challenge you to give a dollar or to go and scope out people who live outside in the winter time.My challenge is more general, my ask is that we all notice more.Everyone is very worthy of dignity and respect, and so that's the challenge.To practice that, everywhere and all the time.
winter in banff

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