No paperwork, just warm hands | Life
Shelley Stone began hanging free hats and gloves from a tree next to her business in 2015 to provide winter warmth to anyone in the community who might need it.
Six years later, the tree outside Moscow’s Yarn Underground continues to be decorated with the gifts from November through March. Stone said she wanted a way to give back to the community without making people feel pressured to prove they need help.
The Stone Wool Store is on the corner of Washington and Fifth Street, one block east of Main Street. Stone said that for the past six years she had found thank you notes in empty ziplock bags and asked people to poke their heads around the store to thank the staff.
Stone said she sometimes walks outside to find children’s coats or slippers, as well as regular hats, gloves and scarves. Stone welcomes donations, but requests that each item be clean and neatly placed in a bag with a size note.
Stone said she wasn’t the type to put rules on people.
“So… there is no red tape,” Stone said. “We’re just going to put it there and if people feel they need it, they can have it without me deciding for them.” I think it’s good that people admit that they need a little help and take it.
Stone usually makes a call through a mailing list when the weather gets colder each year, but in most years she doesn’t have to.
Until recently this year, Stone said she didn’t have time to put anything on the tree but, like clockwork, earlier this month sandwich bags with items in. knitting began to appear.
“Even though people aren’t in need in their day-to-day lives, maybe right now they’re cold and they could use a hat,” Stone said.
She uses the hashtag #chasethechill, a movement that Stone says has spread across the United States over the past decade.
Inspired by The Yarn Underground effort, the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse in Moscow has been working for about five years with the Moscow Public Library to provide free winter clothing, said Ginger Allen, director of the family ministry. from the church.
Allen said they had worked on an outreach program with the children in the congregation and thought it would be a great program to start.
In the first year, Allen said she didn’t keep up, but estimates they handed out around 30 to 50 articles. Fast forward about five years to 2020 and they’ve donated over 300 hats, scarves, mittens and / or socks.
“People in general seem really, really thankful,” Allen said. “While I’m hanging up stuff, people will pull over in their cars and say thank you.”
The church does not generally provide coats or other bulky items like boots, as sizing may be more difficult for these items. Instead, they’re donated to another local charity, Allen said.
“And so I know things get used to, and I hope it’s the kids who go to school who forgot their gloves – people who really can’t afford stuff and that’s it. let their kids warm up, ”Allen said.
Anyone interested in helping package the items to hang or donate to Chase the Chill can contact Allen at [email protected] or leave the items in a drop box at the Moscow Public Library at 110 S. Jefferson St. Items for the tree next to Yarn Underground can be dropped off at the store during their hours of operation.
The Yarn Underground is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.