MISSOULA - People who have walked by the Missoula County Courthouse lawn during lunchtime, may have noticed a hot dog stand.
The stand is run by a couple who is doing what they can to love and respect those who go hungry in our community, by handing out free hot dogs to anyone that wants one.
“It is more than just a hot dog stand. It is everything,” said William Standely, a regular at the stand.
To Eric and Terri Wood, known by their street names of Hwisler and ShortRound, serving their street family is about more than just topping hot dogs with bacon and cheese.
“Showing them that they are an integral and needed part of our community,” said Hwisler.
They have been in the business of redemption, respect and giving love to those who need it for nearly 40 years — together.
“They care a lot and everybody cares about them,” Standely told MTN News.
What started five years ago with handing out homemade sandwiches quickly changed to hot dogs when someone donated the cart.
“[They] don’t have any food to eat so they come down here and only eat once a day, so you know, and it helps out a lot, it does,” said Standely.
Now, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they hand out over 100 hot dogs at the Missoula County Courthouse lawn.
“You know you don’t have to say something verbally in order to communicate with someone," Hwisler told MTN News.
The Wood’s have experienced first hand how this hot dog stand mixed with love, has saved lives.
With some of their regulars going on to rehab, and some even run their own businesses.
And their message to others?
“Stop by. Come and talk to us," said Hwisler.
"Talk to them," said Terri 'ShortRound' Wood.
"Everyone is welcome to be here," added Hwisler. "And sometimes that contact is something as simple as a handshake or a hug.”