UNITED STATES—The United States has been under a brutal winter vortex for the past 2 weeks. I mean the mid-west, northern plains and northeast regions of the country are familiar with frigid temps, but I’m not so certain that applies to the rest of the nation which is seeing temperatures unlike anything before. I mean I’m from the mid-west and I love the cold weather, but the temperatures right now are just brutal, frigid and downright deadly.

This brings me to our column of the week, as we have to focus our attention on the post-holiday madness. So many people have giving hearts with the holidays in play, but now that the holidays are over we really have to remember there are still plenty and I mean plenty of people out there that need assistance and we can’t turn our backs on those individuals.

I’ve talked about the epidemic of homelessness in America to countless degree and I’m an advocate for it because considering we are one of the richest countries in the world, there is no way anyway should be homeless, let alone forced to suffer in subzero temperatures where someone freezes to death. Yes, people think this is a joke, but it’s no laughing matter. This week alone I have heard about at least 3-4 incidents where people have died as a result of the cold temperatures, not to mention several animals dying from being left out in the bitter cold.

Look, if you have a pet, your dogs and cats cannot be left outside for long periods of time in these brutal temps. At most they can only last 10 minutes outside, and even leaving the animals out that long can be dangerous. So imagine a human being left out in such cold. Nowhere to go, no place to lay down; its harsh reality, but it’s a reality for many people America. They have no heat; they have nowhere to go to escape the brutal temps.

That is a sign that we as a nation have to stand up and do something to change the course of things. For those of us who can provide items to help the homeless to stay warm, to find a place of shelter do it. It is very difficult to fathom living in a house, where the temperature inside are just as cold if not colder than the weather outside. Hearing stories like that just strike me to the core and it’s so unfathomable to imagine living in such a situation.

I would also pinpoint for the utility companies that are shutting off electricity and heat to customers in the bitter cold is not acceptable. I totally understand bills have to be paid, but when the weather is this brutal and downright deadly, some sort of plan has to be put in place to help those who just need a bit of extra help to keep the utilities on to prevent the house from being cold, to prevent pipes from freezing or worse, exploding. This isn’t the case for all parts of the country, its worse in the northern plains, mid-west and the northeast which means that much more should be done to remedy such situations.

While some might think the time for giving is over, people are always in need 24/7. So for those that can help donate your time, donate items not used, give out a helping hand if you can. The snow might be fun to look at in the winter, but the treachery of that white stuff on top of the single-digit temps and blowing winds is nothing to smile about.