Sunday, November 3, 2013

Scene in Easton: Random Acts of Warm, Fuzzy Kindness

About 400 handmade scarves were given away to anyone who wanted
them by "Chase the Chill, the Original" along Northampton Street and
the surrounding area on Saturday.
Click on any photo for a full size view.
By Christina Georgiou

About a dozen volunteers, along with members of the Easton Fire Department, led by Easton textile artist Susan Huxley gave away about 400 hand knit and crochets winter scarves for the fourth year in a row in Easton on Saturday morning.

With a clothesline set up in front of the city's main fire station at the five-point intersection at the edges of the Downtown and West Ward neighborhood, "Chase the Chill, the Original" volunteers offered scarves to any and all who passed by and  desired them.

A Chase the Chill volunteer drapes a scarf
on a traffic signal pole for a passerby to
find and claim.
Some of the scarves were also draped on nearby trees, parking meters and other handy locations within a few blocks of the volunteers' gathering place for other passersby to find and claim. With tags that said,
"TAKE THIS SCARF...if you're cold or if you like it," recipients seemed pleasantly surprised by the gifts, and smiles and thanks were seen and heard along the 500 block of Northampton Street for about 45 minutes--the short  time it took for the hundreds of colorful, fluffy neck warmers to be happily snatched up and taken home.

The scarves were stitched by a dedicated group of volunteers over the past year, though one core member, Angela Boehm of Bethlehem, again created and donated a truly impressive number of them--166 in all.

Yarn for the undertaking is donated by the knitters themselves, as well as by community members--Huxley is always on the look-out for free wool that can be transformed by the group into next year's "scarf bombing," she said.

As recipients gathered at the clothesline strung between trees along the sidewalk, Huxley encouraged some of the recipients who seemed to be in more need to take a few scarves and distribute them as holiday gifts for loved ones too.

A happy recipient shows off her new scarf
Saturday at the Chase the Chill giveaway
event in Easton, as organizer Susan Huxley,
right, and a young volunteer tag more
"My grand-daughter will love this one," said one senior, as she picked out a few.

Anyone who knits or crochets can get in on the action and donate to the annual  event, and Chase the Chill holds several public stitching gatherings a year as well, where volunteers can work on scarves to be donated.

Each donated scarf is photographed and documented by Huxley before being distributed, in and of itself a massive undertaking, considering the approximately  2,000 scarves that have passed through her hands.

The event has become so popular too that at least five other Chase the Chill groups have sprung up in the U.S. and Canada. The closest is in Emmaus.

"It's all about a random act of kindness," Huxley said, as one person marvelled at the amount of time and effort that went into the scarve giveaway.

To learn more about "Chase the Chill, the Original" or to get involved, visit the group's Facebook page.

Volunteers head off to drape scarves in the surrounding area
for lucky recipients to find and claim during the Chase the
Chill event on Saturday in Easton.

1 comment:

  1. Nice event. I found it particularly cool that donations were not accepted even when offered. I hope all recipients realize that now we have to go out and pay it forward!