Here’s a heartwarming story of a group that’s helping to keep Kingstonians warm this winter.
At first, the question of who was leaving behind free scarves and toques at McBurney Park was a mystery. That mystery, however, has been solved.
Anyone using or driving by the park may have noticed something on the fence that circles the wading pool. Queen’s University student Ashley Neves was walking her dogs last Friday when she noticed the plastic bags with either a knitted scarf or a toque inside.
“They’re doing it out of the kindness of their heart I guess,” Neves said. “Maybe around the area they assume there are people in need.
“There’s no indication that they’ve left a name and funny enough, they say, ‘I’m not lost,’ so people know that they can take them is they need it.”
You won’t find any kind of identification or attribution in those plastic bags, so it’s very much a mystery, right? Wrong.
Joy McBride is a knitter with a group called SABLE Kingston, and it’s that group which is responsible for the nearly 30 items hanging from pieces of red yarn in the park.
“You’re walking through the park and you’re cold, they’re right there for you,” McBride said.
Every Thursday members of the group gather at the Portsmouth Tavern to do their thing — something McBride says benefits others.
“It’s a way to give to the community, it’s a way to hopefully involve the rest of the community,” she said. “Obviously if you’re cold and you need something, you can take it.
“If you’re somebody who does knit or if you sew, or if you produce something that can keep somebody else warm, you can see our packages and get the idea of putting your own out as well and hopefully it’ll be something that will spread.”
Neves, meanwhile, has nothing but praise for the undertaking.
“People are recognizing that it’s not just a choice to be in need, it could be up bringing, it could be any other factor,” she said. “And obviously somebody is seeing that and not focusing on the negative, why people might be in need.”
Over half of the nearly 30 packages that were originally placed on the fence have been taken and the both McBride and Neves say that’s a good thing.
This is the second time the knitters have placed their wear in the downtown park.