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Mittens, hats, scarves can be donated in Tillsonburg

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Tillsonburg BIA, along with the Norfolk and Tillsonburg News, will be accepting mittens, hats and scarves to help keep those in need warmer during the cold weather ahead.

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If you love to knit or would like to donate purchased hats, scarves or mittens to this great cause you can deliver your donated items to the Tillsonburg BIA office at 64 Broadway, Unit 10, in downtown Tillsonburg, Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donations will be accepted until Thursday, Dec. 3 and the mittens, hats and scarves will be distributed the week of Dec. 6.

Formerly known as ‘The Mitten Tree,’ the local project started about 27 years ago at The Tillsonburg News with a group of ladies knitting (and purchasing) mittens, gloves, and scarves to give to area children in need.

Over the years its goal and purpose evolved into collecting hats/toques, mittens, coats, toys and food for local children who might not otherwise have such things. Cash donations were also accepted to help purchase more needed items.

Items were distributed to area schools, The Salvation Army, and the women’s emergency shelter in Woodstock as needed.

Carol Penney, convener of the Hickory Hills Knitting Circle, has been a long-time contributor to the Mitten Tree project.

“I’ve been contributing to it for years with the knitting group, and even before that I had my pet projects, one of which was the Tillsonburg News (Mitten Tree). I used to hurry to get my donations done before we headed south because we were snowbirds at that time. I think the joke in the office was, ‘Oh, here she comes, she’s the first one…’ Always the first one.”

Penney collects the knitting, crochet and quilt items in September and through her extensive networking donates the clothing items in early October.

“My knitters have been knitting from home for the past year and a half. So on the 28 th of September I had what I call my ‘collection day.’ And I came home with two carloads of stuff that our nine knitters had produced – and even friends of knitters. I think everyone was so shut down they were looking for something to do.”

As a knitting group they support Oxford County charities, and through a local church, they donate to Northern Ontario and overseas.

This year she estimates about 30 knitted (and crochet) hats will be donated to the Tillsonburg Downtown BIA and Norfolk and Tillsonburg News project.

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