Homemade pumpkin pies from scratch. All made using local ingredients…as much as possible. Ready to go and give to those on the street tomorrow. The people on the street say tomorrow people feel very generous while they are out shopping for toys and presents for others. It isn’t uncommon to be given a $20 or even $100 from car windows.

Good. People know that no matter what, living on the street while it is 35 degrees at night is hard. There is good in everyone, thankfully they remember to show it around holidays. Even when they don’t think it is in them anymore, if given the chance, people will always do the right thing in my experience. It sometimes takes awhile, but think of it…we are getting better as a people.

Four years ago, a homeless man froze to death while living on the streets of Eugene. He was the first victim of Oregon’s snow. But, more than that, he was a decorated war veteran who earned a master’s degree from the University of Oregon. Thomas Lawrence Egan, 60, was found partially covered in snow. According to the Medical Examiner’s office, he died from exposure to the cold.

Word of Egan’s death spread quickly throughout the community of veterans.  He was well known among veterans in the support circles.  He served two decades in the Army and Oregon Army National Guard, spent two years serving in Korea and earned several medals and ribbons for his service.

This is why Eugene can be the city where world peace can be born: People decided to do something about it.

Now, every time that the temperature drops below freezing in Eugene or Springfield (yes the one where Bart Simpson came from…but there is no nuclear facility) churches open their doors, and allow the people off the street to take refuge. During the winter, when it is too cold, volunteers are on call for the night when they may be called to aid those seeking shelter.

It isn’t every church without locks on their doors…but it is a start. People are good, and we are only beginning to become great. Love your neighbor. Be Kind.

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