April 26, 2017

Collecting ‘Warmth for Willy’

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.”


  1. youngvt says:

    I am writing in response to Mr. Hoxworth’s article on transportation costs for the poor in Vermont. I would like to suggest further research on this topic before we simply just give another handout or tax credit. The poor, may, have a higher disproportionate burden on their transportation costs than the wealthier residents of Vermont; however, they also have a lower disproportionate burden on taxes and housing. Pick your evil.
    We can simply just give every poor Vermonter an energy efficient car, gas card, free tuition, renter’s rebate, etc.…but the only way out of poverty is through the combination of education, hard work, and discipline. Education and degrees are not handed out or purchased; a person has to EARN them. This seems to be the only way out of poverty—sorry, there are no shortcuts.
    If we continue this trend of enabling, our entire state will be a welfare state.

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