This past week our family, as well as over half-a-million other families, were without power due to an overnight ice storm that left a quarter- to a half-inch of ice on every surface already covered by about 6-8″ of heavy, wet snow. School was closed and many trains were suspended for a day. The house got progressively colder as the power outage wore on and the outside temps didn’t get above freezing – starting at a manageable-with-layers low-60s and slowly creeping down every day to a bone-chilling 41* on Day Four. We bailed on staying in the house the night of Day Three when it was about 45* in the house and moved into a hotel. Our dogs went to a boarding facility that still had power.

Driving through our neighborhood after dark was eerie and felt abandoned. Apocalyptic – like people once lived and played here. Now it’s just dark and empty. Every night we were told our power should be back up by very late that night, but sadly that wasn’t the case. And I believe it’s not the energy company’s fault – the sheer number of streets closed due to massive downed trees and wires was incredible. Each day a few more streets would open up, a few more houses getting power again. And we waited. Finally the power came back on very last night. The house was at 41* and falling.

Friends, I share this with you not for sympathy but because spending several days at home in a cold, dark house has been enlightening.  For us, this was a mere inconvenience – we had the means to afford a warm place to go and keep our pets warm and fed. And already I am evaluating options for being able to stay in the house longer and keep it warmer.

We all know there are people in our communities that lack basic services because they can’t afford it. For many, our short-term inconvenience is their everyday reality. Our family has personally been between homes before and the lack of a place to call home is very disconcerting. Unmooring. This needs to be remedied in our community.

That’s why I am proud to be raising funds for Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s Ride for Homes. I share their belief that everybody needs a safe and affordable place to call home. Every family contributes to their build and the build of others’ homes. The Ride for Homes is a four-day, 250 mile bike ride from Philadelphia to Harrisburg and back to advocate for more affordable housing and raise much needed funds to assist in building 10 new homes in our community and make repairs to 75 other homes.

My goal is to raise $1,000 to help fund this mission. Will you stand with me to help others have a safe, warm home to come home to?

Click here to give a few dollars to my campaign – no donation is too small. Together we can help those in our community have a safe and affordable place to call home: https://share.habitat.org/laura-kelly-rideforhomes

Thank you for your support! See you on the road (if it ever stops snowing and raining!) …

Author: Laura

wife. mother. kick-ass girl. all mountain, all road adventurer by bike.

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