News / Edmonton

Edmonton group hands out scarves to anyone who needs them

Lampposts, bike racks and trees around Whyte Avenue and downtown were better dressed than usual, as a local group hoped their finery would go to those in need.

Chase the Chill Edmonton put out 250 scarves on the streets for anyone who needed them.

“They’re there and if you want one you can take one,” said Wendy Grahl, the group’s founder.

She said she heard about the idea from a similar project in Winnipeg and appreciated how accessible it is to people in need.

“It gets right to the people who want it,” she said. “If you’re homeless and it’s 30 below a scarf is going to be welcome.”

Grahl said when she floated the idea people jumped on board immediately and she was overwhelmed that they would have 250 scarves to put on the street.

“People just stepped up to the plate and it was awesome,” she said.

Volunteer Brenda Ranson said she was happy to help with the project, because it’s such a simple idea.

“I can knit straight scarves. That’s all I can knit,” she said. “It’s easy and we can help people.”

Ranson was out collecting the unclaimed scarves on Sunday, she said they may return them to the streets later, but for now they don’t want them to become litter.

Some volunteers added toques and gloves to their scarves. Ranson jokes the toques weren’t initially her cup of tea, but they look great in the right context.

“I thought they were kind of ugly, but when the kids put them on their heads they looked really nice.”