Churches Open Their Doors as Polar Vortex Sweeps the Nation

Man moves luggage in snow during a winter storm in Buffalo, New York.
Man moves luggage in snow during a winter storm in Buffalo, New York. (REUTERS/Lindsay Dedario)

As temperatures plunge below freezing—and zero degrees in some cases—churches are opening their doors to the community.

"40 below wind chill is not a joke and it's not something to play around with and we know there are just some people that find themselves in some unfortunate situations," Pastor Jason Georges of Immanuel Baptist Church of Corunna, Michigan, says.

His church is not the only one. In Washington, more than 37 churches are listed as warming stations.

And in Holland, Michigan, Hope Church opened as the Community Kitchen at the Western Theological Seminary closed.

"People are aware of how bad the storm was, and they're aware of how many people are connected with the Community Kitchen, so we had a lot of people respond," says Rev. Gordon Wiersma, a pastor at Hope.

"It's a sense of hospitality and being connected to our neighbors that we all have different situations and times that we all need support," Wiersma says. "And our facilities are here to provide that."

Watch the video to see a report from Saint Louis.


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