Thirty-four year-old Candice Payne revealed it was a “spur-of-the-moment” decision to help: “It was 50 below, and I knew they were going to be sleeping on ice and I had to do something,” she said.
Payne contacted hotels and booked 30 rooms at the Amber Inn on Wednesday night at $70 per room. She paid for the rooms with her credit card and then went on Instagram to ask for help for transport to convey the homeless people to the hotel.
She got a caravan of cars, S.U.V.s and vans with volunteer drivers.
The polar vortex brought temperatures in Chicago to a low of minus 25 and minus 26 and killed 11 people.
The group of homeless people were gathered at the Chicago university village/little Italy neighbourhood but were left without heater after the fire department confiscated about 100 donated propane tanks because they posed a fire threat.
Although Payne’s act of selflessness was done anonymously, the story has sparked an #AmericanExpress hashtag on social media urging the credit card company to write off Candice Payne’s expenses for the hotel booking which she paid for with her Amex card.