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MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Back when he was in his 20s, Long
was impressed with colleagues who in
vited the homeless to breakfast, and
then sat and talked with them during
the meal. “I didn’t have the balls to do
that,” Long said. “But three years ago
on a sub-freezing night, I saw a home
less man stretched out on a bench. His
feet in tennis shoes poked out at the end
of his blankets and, as a duck hunter, I
thought, ‘I’d sure like some foot warm
ers if that were me.’”
The next day, Long bought out a
store’s stock of foot warmers, $500
worth. He learned quickly that activat
ing the warmers before handing them
out was the way to be sure the homeless
would use them, not sell them.
30WG volunteers are unique first-re
sponders. They know when to go, but
not necessarily where, because the land
scape of homelessness often changes.
On this first deployment of the sea
son, they spent several hours criss-cross
ing so-called “hot spots” known to at
tract the homeless. They zipped around
in small, SUV-led convoys to the city’s
churches and private parks, tumbled out
of their vehicles, then moved in packs
Kel Long kneels
next to a
after giving her
a blanket. Long,
socks to some
of the 7,000
Long has noticed that some 30WG
volunteers can’t get enough of connect
ing with the homeless, while others can’t
handle it at all.
“When they see them actually bed
ding down on the streets, meet them
and talk to them, that experience goes
deep,” he said.
Jason Horrell of Buckhead, 30, was
one of the volunteers on Dec. 13.
“It’s more than doing something
good for these people. It’s about estab
lishing relationships. I remember some
of these folks from last year,” he said.
Tony, a man in Coca-Cola Park, said
he’d been homeless for at least a year, af
ter losing his job as a semi driver. “These
are pretty nice people. I needed a better
hat to keep my head warm and I’m glad
they had one for me,” he said.
That knowledge warms the hearts
and souls of everyone with 30WG.
“This can be gut-wrenching work,
but we are helping them,” Long said.
To volunteer or donate, visit:
* * *
3 FREE Nights
* * *
A MEMORY CARE COMMUNITY
Peregrine's Landing at Peachtree Creek
A Memory Care Community
4375 Beech Haven Trail SE, Smyrna, GA 30080
* Expires within 30 days of receipt January 31, 2012.
***Based on availability. Assessment and Medial Evaluation required. Not
redeemable for cash. 3 Free Respite Nights ONLY. ***
Coming in the January 25 issue of
A new monthly section focusing on businesses
and businesspeople in the Perimeter area.
A Making a Difference article in the Dec. 28-Jan. 10 editions of Reporter News
papers incorrectly identified the retirement community where Jim Cochrane, Claire
Smith and June Weitnauer reside. They live at Lenbrook.
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Restaurateurs cook up local following
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www.ReporterNewspapers.netl JAN. 11—JAN.24,2013 | 9