For Desiree Brumbach, helping the homeless during this week’s bitter cold is about more than just giving back.
“Fourteen years ago, almost, I was once on the street. I was once homeless myself,” Brumbach said.
The Millersburg resident said when she saw the forecasted low temperatures and windchill for Sunday and Monday night, she knew she had to do something.
“It just pulled on my heart to give back and to do something to make any little bit of difference that I could for those that are homeless,” she said.
Motivated by the bitter cold and her own past, Brumbach and her friend, Jill Riland, drove around Harrisburg for more than four hours Monday, handing out help.
“We have comforters, like thick comforters, we have blankets, gloves,” Brumbach said as she rummaged through her trunk packed full of winter gear. “They love the hot tea. The hot tea is where it’s at y’all. They want something that can warm them up from the inside.”
“Anything helps, go to the Dollar Store, get a pair of gloves, even just helping one person is making a difference,” said Riland.
Brumbach remembers feeling lost and alone and like no one cared when she was homeless. Now that she’s on the other side, she knows exactly what a hand up can mean to someone who is struggling.
“It means everything – you’re gonna make me emotional – it means everything to people when they’re out here and they have nobody and they might not have any family and they have no roof, no heat, no food,” she said.
Brumbach and Riland weren’t the only ones doling out good deeds Monday – so too were the Scarf Bombardiers.
“It’s literally just tying them around a pole, a tree branch, a tree stump,” said Courtney Levengood, of Mechanicsburg.
The group got up early Monday morning to hang some 450 scarves across the city – on gates, poles, signs, parking meters – anywhere for anyone to take. Each one had their own message.
“Each of them has a little tag that says something like ‘I’m not lost, take me!’,” Levengood said. “You’d be amazed at just the little things that can have such a large impact on a person’s life. Making a difference one scarf at a time.”
You can find out more information on the Scarf Bombardiers by visiting their Facebook page.