I read an article in the Huffington Post last December about a group of knitters and crocheters yarn bombing with purpose. Not just for art, but #ChaseTheChill group leaves hats and scarves and much needed items for the homeless in cold areas. This article spoke to me.
I have already partnered my business with Halos of Hope and believe the purpose it gave my small handmade business means so much. But this struck a personal note. I have actually been homeless in my life. More than once. I know that the gift of warmth on cold nights has more value than most realize. I also know the value in knowing people out there care. I felt moved.
But I am just a gal with yarn who lives in a small rural town. Wasn't gonna let that stop me. I reached out to my social media network on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to help and the response was overwhelming. So many people wanted to help share the love and share the cozy - we named the program Share The Cozy and that is just what we did.
I am so honored to know so many people who wanted to be part of this campaign and share love and warmth. And some who were not in an area with need, decided to donate so we set up a way to buy hats and scarves for the Homeless Campaign here. So many people coming to be part of this restored my belief that this is what it is about: community, humanity, we need to care about each other in the ways that we can.
Here are just a few of the stories from those who helped me make this happen.
My friend Alissa, who helped me launch the campaign spent days not just hanging scarves but meeting and handing them to the homeless in Denver and New Mexico.
My friend Jordan helped share the cozy in snowy Idaho.
My awesome gal Amanda handed out items in Boston area. She says:
I became involved in Michele's "Share The Cozy" campaign after seeing the campaign take place in other cities around the US on Facebook and social media. I knew I immediately wanted to become involved. Michele graciously sent me a package of her beautiful handmade hats, scarves, and neck warmers to hand out to the homeless in my area. Living in Boston, our winters can be brutal, and I knew immediately her creations would be put to excellent use by those who need them.
The same day I received her package, I tagged the items, and took the train to downtown Boston. Ironically, it started to snow that same day, and by the time I got to Boston (that evening), it was bitter cold with snow barreling down. I found about ten homeless people in the span of an hour or so and handed out the soft creations. They were so thankful and couldn't believe it! Some of the homeless were sleeping outside, so I put a homemade hat next to where they were sleeping. Hopefully they woke up to a nice surprise!
Thanks for involving me in this awesome initiative, Michele! I felt proud to be part of this campaign and know how much these people really appreciated your handmade, cozy, winter gear! We need more people like you in this world. XOXO you rock! ~Amanda
And my friend Kathy in Chicago was among the first to respond:
When Michele posted about the Cozy Campaign I was so thrilled to be a part of it! I knew that I would be taking some of the hats and scarves to a local abused women's shelter, but I wanted to also take some to The Pacific Garden Mission.
My husband has been telling me about this mission for years because it is close to his work. My husband was happy to be able to share some warmth with the people who need it most. We both were so very happy to see that a gentleman was already starting to take a hat before he was even finished putting them around.
It made us very happy to be able to help so many that day. Michele is a angel for working so hard to make this project so special ❤
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!! We plan to do it again every winter, as long as we can. You can get involved here. See where you can have an impact in your own community. It could change a life.
Additionally - To launch this campaign ongoing Nationwide I have entered an Etsy Small Business contest and would appreciate your support with a vote for me here
See all the handmade cozy and love that was distributed here.