Beat the Heat!

Whether you have air conditioning or not, it can be hard to keep cool during the hot summer months that we all LOVE here in Minnesota! RKK_SAHotWeatherLogo

I try VERY hard not to complain, since we get so few months to enjoy warmth outdoors, but some days (and nights!) the heat and humidity can be almost unbearable.

Maybe you have central air throughout your house, or maybe you don’t have any at all. Maybe you have an air conditioner but want to try use it as little as possible to save on energy costs (I fall into this category), or maybe you have a window unit that only cools certain parts of your home (I also fall into this category).

No matter what your situation, did you know there are ways to beat the heat without even having to turn on the air conditioner?

It’s true! You can simply google “how to stay cool without an air conditioner,” and you’ll find many different lists and tips–some that I had heard of, and others not. Below I’ve compiled a list for you based on the tips that I found the most helpful (and ones that I am most likely to, or already use):

For right now:

1. Close windows & blinds during the day (keeps the sun from causing the temp to creep up inside your home).

2. Open windows at night (if you have a temperature gauge in your house & outside, monitor the temps and as soon as it gets cooler outside than it is inside your house–open up those windows! (but don’t forget about #1!)

3. Get air moving. By putting fans in windows, you can create much needed air movement as well as push some of the warm air back outside. You can even create a homemade “air-conditioner” by putting a pan filled with ice in front of a box fan.

4. Dress down. Wear light weight, light colored, loose fitting clothing.

5. Take a cold/cool shower. This is especially helpful to cool you down before going to bed at night.

6. Start grilling.  Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter.

7. Stay hydrated. Also avoid caffeine & alcoholic beverages that promote dehydration.

8. Go to a public place. When you really get desperate and need a break from the heat and/or humidity (and have transportation), go to a local business, coffee shop, or library that has air conditioning.

For later:

1. Plant trees in strategic locations to provide shade for your home. Specifically in areas where the sun shines in during the hottest part of the day (while this takes away from some natural light, it also makes a significant impact on the temperature of your home).

2. Install awnings.

3. Install attic insulation. This helps keep cool air from escaping your home.

ice1For the complete lists I found for how to stay cool without AC, visit the following articles:

Make sure to also be aware of signs of heat exhaustion & heat stroke in yourself, children, & pets. Click here for signs to look for in your pets. Let’s enjoy the summer heat by staying cool!

We want to hear your ideas! Comment below or on our Facebook post and include tips you have to beat the heat!

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Storm 2015 Relief Efforts & Resource Updates

[Last updated: 7/28/15]

Bridges of Hope is helping to coordinate some of the relief efforts following the major storm that hit the Lakes Area on 7/12/15. We will be doing our best to keep this post updated regularly during the clean-up process.

Please call our office if you need help at 218.825.7682. We are a ‘small but mighty’ staff and will do our best to connect you with resources. Office hours are 8:00 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Thursday, and 8:00 am-2:00pm on Friday. Volunteer groups (for tree removal) are here through Friday, July 31 and currently have full assignments for the week. We can put your name on a waiting list but unfortunately cannot guarantee that we will find volunteers to assist you.
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If you are able to help financially, you can make a donation to Bridges of Hope to help us serve our neighbors affected by the storm. The Initiative Foundation is matching all donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000! This fund will help us in our efforts to coordinate the immediate needs, and will also enable us to assist with longer-term needs (rent & utilities assistance for those who missed work following the storm, for example). Click here to give now. Your gift is 100% tax-deductible. As of 2:25 PM on 7/28/15, donations have reached $5,739!

News About the Storm:

Someone to Talk To:

  • Volunteers (pastors, social workers, and others) are available if you need someone to talk to as you process through all that has happened (for your emotional/mental health). Call Bridges of Hope at 218.825.7682 to get that set up.

Volunteer Groups Offering/Seeking Help:

  • Volunteers are needed for debris haul-away (own hauling equipment needed). Call our office if you are able to assist with this (218.825.7682).

Burning Storm Debris & Burning Permits:

  • From the MN DNR Website: You need an open burning permit:
    • when the fire is more than 3 feet high and 3 feet in diameter.
    • when the ground is not completely covered by a minimum of 3 inches of snow.
    • when the fire is not contained in either an approved burner or in a cooking or heating device such as charcoal grill or camp stove.
    • Check their website for details on where to obtain a burning permit.

Storm Debris Drop-Off Locations:

  • Crow Wing County Landfill: debris & branches are free; fee for stumps. Open 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Saturday, on 15732 Hwy 210. Extended hours for just tree & debris drop-off, 5:00-8:00 pm.
  • Baxter City Hall: for Baxter residents ONLY. Call 218.454.5100 for more information.
  • Cass County: approximately 1/4 mile south of County Roads 18 & 77; turn on the road for the Pine Beach Waste Water center. There is a sign posted that says “Residential Brush.” Approximate address: 11800 County Road 45, Brainerd, MN 56401. (Trees & brush only.)
  • Cass County: Knife River Gravel Pit, on the north side of County Road 15. (Address unknown.)

Other Information:

Common Goods Now Open in Crosslake!

It’s been quite exciting and busy around here at Bridges of Hope!  In case you haven’t heard, we are officially open for business at our new Common Goods location in Crosslake! We have amazing staff who are working hard to get the space fully up & running (we were able to get into the space just yesterday). We took our first donation (also yesterday), and I literally JUST received a call from our Retail Manager, Nate, stating we’ve made our first sale TODAY!FrontofStorewithtempbanner

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As you can see in the picture, there’s still a lot of work to be done (painting among other things), so bear with us as we continue to transform the space into a unique, trendy thrift store. We are thrilled to be able to offer good quality items to the Crosslake area AND we are proud to say– all proceeds stay local and help fund the unique programming at Bridges of Hope!
CommonGoodsSupportsBoHHere are the details:

  • Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm & Sunday 12pm-5pm
  • Physical Address: 35562 Co Rd 66, Crosslake, MN
  • Phone #: 218-692-7682 (phones should be up & running by tomorrow)

So come on in, excuse the organized chaos, shop, and chat with one of our staff. We would love to share more with you about how donating, shopping & volunteering at Common Goods makes a difference in this community.

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For more information on our donation guidelines & other general information; check out our recent blog post: Summer Donations at Common Goods and visit our website.

(And stay tuned–we’ll be sure to share more about our progress on our Facebook page!)