The Value of Warmth

Written by Virginia Pliska, Rotaract Oshkosh

It’s Tuesday night. I’d usually be rushing around stressed about all of the things I didn’t get done, even after missing the time I promised myself I’d be bed when my alarm went off that morning. The night would have started with me rummaging around my apartment for some food, switching the laundry, and wasting time online. The entire night would have flown by…as so many others do.

But not this Tuesday night. On March 12, I joined Bethany at the Day by Day Warming shelter, a facility that offers shelter for adult men and women who have no other housing or shelter options in Oshkosh. (For more information please visit

While the 20 residents for the evening were served a hearty meal made by volunteers, we did their laundry and helped check them into the showers. The “regulars” knew exactly what to do, quietly making their beds as some stayed up watching a little TV until it was their turn for a hot shower.

The mood was calm. I thought about how much I take for granted the warmth of my home and the freedom to shower whenever I please. I am so lucky to have plenty of clothes to wash and, well, having to hang them up isn’t so bad.

It wasn’t even ten o’clock when everything was ready for the night and most of the lights were out. We slipped out silently, making sure we didn’t interrupt their dreams.

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