While schools and universities might close due to the coldest weekend of the year, city operations and many businesses have no choice but to stay open. In DeWitt, Mich., temperatures dropped as low as 11-below degrees Fahrenheit. Most would seek shelter and warmth in those conditions, but a few brave the cold to serve the residents of DeWitt. Everyone from city workers to small business owners to restaurants have no choice but to carry on with operations as normal. It is not always easy or ideal, but its the price to pay when working in a small, winter town.
Subzero temperatures this winter have made it tough for secondhand stores and homeless shelters in Lansing, not because of a greater demand for their services but because volunteers hesitated to venture out to donate their belongings or their time. Donations lacking
Debra Kelly, the assistant manager at Hidden Treasures Thrift Store, said that the store’s goal is to “be real and resourceful and meet all the needs” regardless of the season. “Whether it’s the winter or summer, there are so many in need,” she said. “The demand is much greater than the supply.”
Kelly said that the cold winter significantly limited donations compared to what the store normally receives at this point in the year. “The cold has kept people kind of in a slumber,” she said. “The ice storms, the winter, the cold weather – it’s the same for most of the surrounding retail in the community.”
This is certainly true for Upscale Thrift, a secondhand store operated through the City Rescue Mission, according to employee Hannah Hall. “I think that the cold weather and the amount of snow on the roads definitely affected business,” Hall said.