ELYRIA — A group of volunteers braved the cold weather Monday to help keep those in need warm throughout the winter months.
Invest Elyria and Elyria Hookers teamed up to hang up more than 1,500 knitted, crocheted or donated items on Ely Square for the fourth annual Warming Event. The event runs through Wednesday, or until supplies run out.
Girls from Girl Scout Troop 50298 were joined by friends in troops 50323 and 50933 to help distribute clothing around Ely Square for those in need Monday in Elyria.
PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHANIE BACSKAY Enlarge
Elyria Hookers is a group dedicated to yarn arts, knitted scarves, hats, gloves, socks, blankets, sleeping mats and other items, according to Invest Elyria Executive Director Mary Bryan. The group also accepted donations of gently used coats, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and new socks at the Elyria Dairy Queen at North Abbe and Hilliard roads, and Roxy’s Emporium on Middle Avenue.
The items are brought to the square and then given out and hung up around Ely Square to be taken as needed.
“This is for anybody who needs it,” Bryan said. “They could be homeless, underprivileged, someone who needs a blanket or anyone who needs anything. The items will be in the park for three days.”
The more than 1,500 items collected this year more than doubled what the groups collected last year. Bryan said there weren’t many items given out Monday, which she believes is because of the extreme cold weather.
She said a few people did take items Monday and — if past years are any indication — she expects the items will be gone by this evening.
“I think people are a little standoffish when they first see our group out there,” she said. “There were probably about 15 of us putting items out (Monday), which would be a little intimidating.”
In addition to Invest Elyria and Elyria Hookers, volunteers from Lorain County Community Action Agency, Warm Angel Blankets and Girl Scouts helped out with the event Monday, according to Bryan.
The event began in Elyria four years ago after the group heard about a similar event in another city, Bryan said. Three years ago, a group in Lorain started doing it as well, and it has “really taken off in the two cities,” according to Bryan.
She said any items left over after Wednesday will be donated to a local church, and that the event wouldn’t be possible without support from the city and the Parks and Recreation Department.