NORTHAMPTON – Students from Lander-Grinspoon Academy (LGA) and WEBS-America’s Yarn Store were joined by Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz on Nov. 15 in Pulaski Park to leave scarves around the park for the homeless to collect and use during the upcoming winter months.
Public service organizations and the media were encouraged to notify clients and the public that the scarves, tied to lampposts and benches, were available for immediate distribution to the homeless population.
Many of the scarves were knitted by LGA students as part of a “Knitting for the Homeless” initiative launched by Isabel Baxter-Paris, a fifth grader who was inspired by a similar project in Manhattan’s Bryant Park.
“I was hoping we could accomplish two things with this program: I really wanted to teach kids to knit and to love knitting but I also wanted to help the homeless in our community,” she explained. Children from LGA learned to knit under the direction of Sylvia Snape, a WEBS educator.
When news of the project spread, others participated, contributing scarves from knitting groups as far away as Baltimore. “We had grandparents who reached out to their knitting groups around the country. Isabel spoke to her local librarian who runs a knitting club. It just spread through word of mouth and good will,” said Ellen Frank, LGA executive director.
CAP: Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz stands next to Isabel Baxter-Paris and her LGA classmates after distributing warm scarves for the homeless in Bryant Park.