February weather gets me down. It is bone-chilling cold outside. It makes me wonder why I don’t live in the tropics and sell T-shirts on the beach. During this month, I find myself searching the Internet looking at warm destinations and palm trees. I have even taken to listening to Hawaiian music in my office. However, this weather also makes me think of the thousands of New York City homeless and recently evicted who have no place to go on some of the coldest nights of the year.

I was recently looking at the work of Denise Miranda, managing director of the Safety Net Project, which is part of the Urban Justice Center, so I could learn more about the services they provide to people on public assistance, families facing eviction and the overall education services to individuals in New York City about their overall rights. I had no idea just how many families live in fear of being evicted on a daily basis.

There are so many complexities to these issues, which involve the mayor, city politics, various city agencies and lawyers, to name just a few. As a safety net, they provide, “community legal services to clients at our network of free citywide legal clinics. While fighting for our clients on an individual basis, our team engages in impact litigation, research, and policy advocacy. In doing so, we challenge systemic failures that violate the rights of those we serve.” If the Safety Net Project is tackling these issues from a legal and advocacy standpoint, then what should I do to get involved?

I was so impressed with what they are doing as an organization, I began to think of ways I could do something, anything. If we consider New York City as one large family, how can we better support some of the families who are facing some of the coldest evenings in history? I found the solution in some of the fantastic work of my students.

My grandmother always said you could and should learn things from the young. As I walked into my office building, I saw students had organized a food drive and also a coat and clothing drive. Many of us need a steady reminder that families are in need year-round, not just around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, during those two periods, generosity is high and the spirit of giving is in the air. However, it is necessary to remember these individuals and families after the celebrations are over.

As we look beyond our immediate families and think of others on these cold winter nights, we can all do more, whether it is volunteering our time to an organization that aids families confronting homelessness or donating food and clothes. Spring will be here before we know it, but now is the time to get rid of unused coats and scarves. The challenges are quite large, but I know nothing is too great when we all come together.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Fordham University and the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.”