Spreading the warmth: Winter coats pop up on Halifax light posts
Published Tuesday, November 17, 2015 9:03AM EST
An unusual sight appeared in Halifax this weekend: winter jackets and scarves tied around light posts and power poles. The clothing items were donated from a nearby rural community and left for the taking by a group of Good Samaritans.
Jayda Atkins, 7, travelled with her friends and parents on Sunday, from her home in Caledonia to downtown Halifax, where they handed out donated winter coats, mitts, scarves and hats to those in need.
The group gave away seven coats, and tied the rest of the items around lamp posts and power poles. Each item had a tag that read: "I am not lost. If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to keep warm."
Tara Atkins, Jayda's mother, said the items were donated by friends and family in Caledonia. But the need wasn't as great in the rural community, located about 150 kilometres west of Halifax, so they brought the clothing to the city.
"We went with the intent to give clothing to anyone we saw who may need winter clothing," she told CTV Atlantic on Monday. "And we also hung the remainder of it on light poles and power poles."
She said that she hopes the excursion taught the girls the importance of charity and gratitude.
"When we were going yesterday, with a group of young girls who don't always know how fortunate they are, we thought it was a really good opportunity for them to see," she said. "We just want to put out there that there's always help to be found. I don't want anybody to ever feel hopeless.
Zachary Atkins, Tara Atkins' husband, said the family has received help from others in the past, and felt it was important to give back to others in need.
"We've had help from others when we were in need, and we knew how great it made us feel," he said.
Tara Atkins said she's not concerned that anyone could take the clothing items that were left on the poles, whether they are homeless or not.
"I'm not just saying it has to be homeless people, you know, someone who may work may need that jacket and not be able to afford it," she said.
And it appears as if the jackets, mitts and scarves have found new homes. By Monday afternoon, all of the light and power poles were bare.
With a report from CTV Atlantic's Sarah Ritchie