To many, she was the face of kindness and compassion.
Carol Winter died Thursday morning at her home. She was 75.
Jason Blowe said he’s known Winter for decades; He credits her for helping him find a home when he came to Peterborough.
“The world would be a better place, if everybody was like that woman,” Blowe said, wiping a tear from his eye.
Winter was known throughout the community as a tireless poverty advocate. She often volunteered at the warming room. Volunteers there said that when she wasn’t working with people at the shelter, she was writing letters to those in jail or prison, simply to let them know they weren’t alone.
“I think she really demonstrated that gentleness is powerful, and that over time you can accomplish a lot with a gentle heart,” said Rachel Petty, who knew Winter through One Roof Community Centre.
Winter often helped those who were marginalized, and who interacted with police.
Peterborough police Staff Sgt. Neil Collins said there were, “hundreds,” of instances where Winter stepped in to help.
“She made you look at things, rather than the incident, or what you were dealing with, but to take a look at the person you were dealing with,” Collins said.
Those who were helped by Winter gathered near Jackson Creek to talk about their friend.
“I remember her walking in a snowstorm, with four FreshCo bags full, with her little kerchief on, trudging through the snow to take her goodies to people,” one woman said, her voice breaking.
Another man was more blunt.
“Carol did not see junkies,” he said, referring to Winter’s efforts to help anyone who needed it. “Carol saw that that person was hurting. Carol understood that, probably better than anyone else.”
Winter didn’t want a funeral or an obituary. Her friends say she wanted them to celebrate with a party next summer.