Operation Warm Place to Sleep

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By Julie Johansen

Near the middle of December, just as the cold weather began to settle in to the local area, a very caring and concerned citizen came to the aid of another. Dusty Butler had stopped at Best Tech Auto to get a tire on his truck fixed and overheard a conversation between owner Jason Mills and an older citizen with whom he was briefly acquainted. 

The elderly gentleman was inquiring about how to fix a window in car that wouldn’t roll up. Butler knew this gentleman was living in his car with a faulty heater and that because of health concerns and age, he was not able to get a job. He also knew this gentleman would never ask for anything and had no family whatsoever. After listening to the conversation, Butler decided he needed to help. He spoke to Mills, who generously donated an old trailer that he had in the back of the shop, letting Butler know that it needed some work on the floor.  

Butler returned to the shop and took the trailer to his place to begin to repair it for habitation. After a few days of rain, it became apparent that the trailer needed more work than what another used trailer might cost. By this time, the temperature had dipped to about five degrees, so Butler and his wife Beth turned to social media with the problem and soon had many solutions. 

Mark and Dixie Tuttle told Dusty of a trailer on their farm they would be happy to donate. Butler secured the trailer and, with the help of Shawn Jeffs, the trailer was soon ready for habitation. Beth relates that within a few hours they had about 20 trailers that people had offered. Dusty then spoke with the landlord of a local trailer park and found a place to park the camp trailer. 

Along with the offer of several trailers came donations of food, bedding, money, clothing and even heavy drapes made to help keep the cold out of the trailer. The trailer was not just habitable, but was stocked with everything the gentleman would need and more. There was even enough money to fix the car.  

Dusty posted on social media that the response had been so great that there were many, many to thank and even some he had to turn away. The gentleman was very humble and grateful, but Dusty remarked not as humble as he himself was following the huge response from the community to “Operation Warm Place to Sleep.”

“I am grateful to live in an area where people are are so willing to help someone out at the drop of a hat when they are in need,” Dusty shared.

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