I’ve been volunteering at a homeless shelter for about six years. At first I began doing it to satisfy a community service requirement at school, but I came to really enjoy giving back to people in my community. I’ve heard many heartbreaking stories, so I have a very soft spot in my heart for those who have had some bad luck overtime. The shelter offers different volunteer shifts, and I usually take the day shift, but one weekend I decided to try out the overnight shift. It ended up being the worst time to try making a switch because the central heater completely broke down that night. We were in the middle of dead winter and the shelter was packed with people, so we had to think quickly. Many of the volunteers had space heaters at our houses, so we took turns running home to grab heaters to spread throughout the shelter. The temporary residents all huddled together around the space heaters as if they were sitting around a campfire. The most frustrating part for me was without central heating, they could not properly rest. Because they had to sit within five feet of the space heater to receive any warmth, they couldn’t really lay down and sleep. I felt terrible that they were all exhausted and cold, so I called a friend who works for an HVAC technician. I explained the situation to him, and he willingly came out to the shelter to take a look at the heater. He was able to spot the problem and had it fixed within an hour. Everyone was able to feel heat throughout the room again and finally get some rest. I am so grateful to have friends with an open heart.