Community Group Provides Scarves for Those in Need
By Lisa Pett
As bitter cold temperatures brutalize Central Wisconsin, a local group of volunteers are placing warm scarves and hats out for those in need.
The tags on the scarves read, “I am not lost. If you are cold, please take me to keep warm.”
Tiffani Krueger, the Vice President of Evergreen Community Initiatives, spearheaded the effort after friends besieged her Facebook page with a viral photo of scarves being tied around trees in cities around the world.
“The Portage County Library is an ideal spot for this kind of outreach as it is used by many of the homeless population to get warm and to use the computers,” said Krueger, adding she approached the library staff to ask permission to place scarves on the trees in front and behind the library.
“The library doesn’t take care of the trees so they sent me to the mayor’s office,” said Krueger. “He then put us in touch with the city Parks Department who said they didn’t have a problem with it.”
Volunteers donate scarves, as well as hats and gloves, and Krueger said checks the trees daily. When it snows or rains, she replaces wet items with dry ones, and refills spots as items are taken.
The temperatures have plummeted and the group has given away between 30-40 scarves so far.
“We are going through 2-6 a day,” said Krueger. “Although I started this program, I am looking for a dedicated group to take over running it. We would still collect donations but another non-profit or community service group could check the trees and put out fresh items.”
Evergreen Community Initiatives is a non-profit, faith-based outreach program dedicated to helping those in need in the community and encouraging others to get involved. They also run the Place of Peace, a community meal program and food pantry, as well as a children’s clothing pantry.
Anyone looking to donate items can do so by dropping them off at the bins provided at the Place of Peace at 1948 Church St.
The group also operates a Facebook page called Helping Hands where volunteers and clients can find information and connect with services.
For more information contact Krueger at firstname.lastname@example.org.