Warm scarves from warm hearts
Winter will be here before we know it, and that means more bitter cold nights in the Tennessee Valley. It's why a donation project to help keep the homeless warm popped up just in time.
Even on the most beautiful days in Chattanooga, life on the streets can be a cold experience. It's something A.J. Patterson has experienced firsthand.
"You're laying down dry, and you wake up wet, and it's not a good feeling," Patterson said.
For him, warmth of any kind is something to be treasured.
"I was handmade for you, if you are cold and need me, please take me," he read from a note outside of the Salvation Army.
Spreading warmth is this group's specialty, 80 volunteers knit, crocheted and wove 750 scarves, each made by hand.
"We could make them a little more comfortable in just one small way," the organizer, Sandi Suggs, said.
They're called "Scarves for Charity Chattanooga." They spent the last year making each scarf unique and durable for the cold.
"It took somebody with a good heart to knit something from scratch and have it come looking beautiful like they do," Patterson said.
The volunteers unpacked boxes of scarves and hung them on the fence outside of the Salvation Army, each with a note, letting them know someone cares.
"This is often our forgotten community, and we want them to know we didn't forget," Suggs said.
Since the group started, they've made more than 1,000 scarves and made a difference in the lives of many, including Patterson's.
"When you see stuff like this, that's just the love of God coming through others to be able to bless others because if you bless others, you will be blessed," he said.
For Sandi, helping others is the blessing, and it's why as long as she can, she'll have knitting needles in her hands.
"I am a maker, and so I have to do it because God blessed me with those talents. It is my way to pay it forward," she said.
The group has already started knitting for next year. If you would like to help or donate, visit the "Scarves for Charity Chattanooga" Facebook page.