If You See A Scarf Tied To a Tree or a Pole This Winter, Here’s What It Means

It started out as one woman’s way to give back and do something for others, but it’s since become something of a nationwide movement. It’s a new form of “yarn bombing.” But instead of knitting things and putting them out in the world for humorous effect, the idea is to help those in need. So if you see a scarf tied around a tree or pole, this may be what’s going on.

Across the country, people are either digging out old winter scarves or knitting new ones and taking them out to parks and other areas with plenty of foot traffic. In addition to tying them in some easily visible location, some people are even adding notes explaining that the scarf is free for the taking by anyone who needs it. A few of these notes have even given the scarves some personality, for example: “I’m not lost! Please take me with you if you are cold. Stay warm!”

For a homeless person, or anyone else for that matter, something as simple as a scarf could make a big difference. If it’s freezing cold out, it’s important to keep your head and ears covered. For someone living outdoors during a time of extreme cold, having a scarf could literally be a matter of life and death.

Elizabeth Sammons is the person who got the movement going. A Facebook post about scarves was her unlikely source of inspiration. Soon, she and a coworker went out and tied five scarves to trees in Fairbault in wintry Minnesota. Not long afterward, someone contacted her about bringing the project to St. Paul. Volunteers ended up delivering more than 1,000 scarves and that’s when the idea really caught on. Sammons herself was determined to give back because she was once in need and was lucky enough to get a second chance at life; in her case, it was a heart transplant.

Is this something you might consider doing? Let us know in the Facebook comments and be sure to like and share. You’ve surely got a friend who could use a knitting project!