October 25, 2014

Collecting ‘Warmth for Willy’

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Donate winter hats, mittens and scarves in the purple boxes at Gardener's Supply, Lenny's Shoe & Apparel, Buttered Noodles and Bead Crazy. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)

Donate winter hats, mittens and scarves in the purple boxes at Gardener’s Supply, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel, Buttered Noodles and Bead Crazy. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate)

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

October 13, 2013

As snow begins to coat the mountains and the first snow flurries fall, residents in need have a new source for warm clothing.

Gardener’s Supply Company in Williston—which has long donated food to the Williston Community Food Shelf from its show gardens and plots in the nearby community garden—has started the “Warmth for Willy” campaign.

Until Nov. 15, the store is collecting new and gently used winter hats, gloves, scarves and even fuzzy socks, which it will donate to the food shelf.

“There are people that are in need, not just food but in need of lots of other things, with the cold weather coming,” said Peggy McIntire, head campus gardener at Gardener’s Supply, who is heading up the effort.

Local businesses Buttered Noodles, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel and Bead Crazy have also joined the drive, and are collecting items. McIntire said she plans to put a box out at the company’s Burlington Intervale location.

Ginger Morton, who owns Bead Crazy and volunteers at the food shelf, said the drive will help support locals in need—some of whom have to make a choice between food and warm clothing.

“While we don’t normally take donations other than food, because of space and logistical concerns, the Food Shelf decided that we could manage this generous donation by keeping one box of these items available,” Morton wrote in an email. “We see many, many people at the food shelf who are under-dressed for the cold weather. Most feel that feeding their families is more important than warm clothes. This Warmth for Willy Program will surely help our clients, and we are very grateful for Peggy and her helpers.”

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