Some time ago we learned of a generous clothing designer who started something BIG! She took her scarves to a city park and tied them to trees with a little tag: "I am not lost! If you are cold, take me home." Inspired by her, we began to crochet scarves and hats at Sacred Heart Convent in Yonkers, and found the perfect place to hang them - the fence that surrounds Lennon Park on Lake Avenue. It is also right next to a small municipal parking lot that serves the local supermarket. Our neighborhood is home to many people just getting by. And so we hung signs in three representative languages - English, Spanish and Portuguese - that read, "If you are cold, take something home." Our scarves disappeared virtually overnight. Encouraged by the response, we reached out to our entire Community for donations of new or gently used items. Our Sisters, Companions, Associates and staff responded with great generosity. Their gifts have kept us in business for two winters so far, and we have expanded our offerings to include jackets, sweaters, thick socks (favored by the homeless), gloves, sweats and even small blankets.
We have had many wonderful experiences in this ministry. Several times people hung some of their own clothes on the fence to help out their neighbors. We've often been greeted with lovely words marking our work as a "good thing" and frequent thumbs-ups and drivers honking and smiling! The greatest realization is knowing that some folks who had been cold are now bundled up against the high winds in our neighborhood.
If you have any items to contribute to the fence, you can drop them off at Sacred Heart Convent, 24 Lewis Avenue in Yonkers. Any questions, cal Lori DeGiorgio, RDC at 914-323-8423.