Those in need of hats, gloves scarves and maybe even a coat for the cold weather don’t have to look far in Hays.
Tuesday night and Wednesday, members of Hays Christian Church distributed packets of the warm wear around town for anyone to pick up and use. Collecting and packing the items is a project of the church’s women’s group, Phoebians.
Each bag contains a hat, scarf and gloves — some also contains a pair of socks — with a note saying “If you need to be warm or you know someone who needs to be warm, please take me with you.”
The women’s group placed the packages around town in locations such as downtown planters and outside the library, VA clinic and Early Childhood Connections, Phoebians President Billie Crawshaw said.
This is the second year the group has done the project, Crawshaw said. She saw the idea online, and when she became president last year, brought the idea to the group.
“We were looking for service projects and different things we could do in the community. That was one that I thought would be easy to do. It was new and different, and I hadn’t seen it done in Hays before,” she said.
The group put together 85 bags to place around town — 20 more than last year’s effort.
This year, the group also added coats to the project, wrapping them around the trees outside the church at 22nd and Marshall, with notes inviting those in need to take one.
Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes are offered. Members of the women’s group donated the items. Many were new purchases, but Crawshaw said she also purchased some from thrift stores. A few members even crocheted or knitted items for the project.
Crawshaw said Wednesday she was “kind of stalking” some of the packages she placed downtown, and noticed some had been taken.
“It’s neat to go and see I put it there and someone took it,” she said.
The women’s group does monthly community service projects seven months of the year. Other projects include packing purses with toiletries, snacks and other items and a drive for personal hygiene items for women in the Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services shelter, and donating smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to the Hays Fire Department for the Get Alarmed Kansas program, which the HFD will install for qualifying households.