By Cailey Rizzo
February 01, 2019

A little kindness goes a long way, especially for those who need shelter when disastrous weather strikes.

Earlier this week, as the Midwest was hunkering down for subzero temperatures and piles of snow, many homeless people across the region were left without many (or any) resources to keep them safe from the dangerous weather.

That’s when one anonymous donor in Chicago made sure at least 80 people living on the streets of Chicago were able to find shelter in hotel rooms.

According to WUSA9, that donor is no longer anonymous. Volunteer Candice Payne, “impulsively” charged 20 hotel rooms on her American Express card when she realized how dangerous the cold temperatures were going to be. She then posted about it on social media, according to CBS Chicago.

And for people who were living in a tent city around a propane tank for heat (which exploded on Wednesday), it was especially good that she did. Originally, the group was going to be moved to a Salvation Army warming center, according to KHOU11. That is, until the center got a call that a mystery person was paying to put the group up in a hotel.

After seeing Payne’s act of kindness, other volunteers started to follow suit, according to WUSA9, buying up a total of 60 hotel rooms for homeless people to stay warm in the polar vortex.

Payne spoke to CBS Chicago, saying that she didn’t even know the other volunteers who helped buy the other hotel rooms. “Maybe they didn’t know how to or where to start to help, so I’m glad that I was able to be that vehicle,” Payne said.

One man who was helped by Payne and the volunteers told WUSA9, “We don’t get that type of help. I really needed them at that point, so they came right in time.”

All in all, the group of volunteers were able to cover three nights stays for all 80 people, CBS Chicago reported. They hope to work together in the future for a more long-term solution to help the city’s homeless population.