Neighbor and fellow New Albany blogger, Ceece, aka Courtney Paris, recently encountered a couple of homeless men taking shelter under a downtown overpass on a cold winter's night. In an act of both bravery and kindness, she returned to the scene after searching her home for any warm garments she could find, introduced herself, and selflessly handed over what may very well have been live saving apparatus in the form of coats, jackets, and blankets.
Even those among us who may have done the same thing-- and there are undoubtedly far too few of us-- would've been tempted to return to our warm beds, satisfied with ourselves for having done a good deed. Happliy, that's not the case this time.
It seems one of the men mentioned a need for headware and Courtney has set her sights on resolving that need, not just for the individuals she met that evening but for a little discussed and unfortunately growing contingent of people for whom New Albany is home, even if it's not the kind defined by a traditional roofline and front door.
The gist of her idea is to start a community knitting group, sharing friendship and fellowship while creating and distributing the cold weather apparel that's so needed in the city. Courtney explained her concept to the members of the East Spring Street Neighborhood Association a few days ago and I share her words here:
For the knitting:
As winter has finally hit us here in New Albany, I found myself
searching for ways to give back the community and especially the homeless.
After much prayer and thought, I have begun to learn how to crochet and
have reserved space at my church (Central Christian on Spring St) to
use their fellowship hall as a meeting spot in the hopes of getting with others
who care enough to do something proactive in our community as well.
Here are a few important things to know:
1. This is not a religious group, you don't need to feel as though you
will be preached to, the church is offering me space to do this rent free.
2. You don't have to know how to crochet or knit, there will be people
there to help teach us.
3. If you can't make it, please consider donating yarn or other fleece
4. Our goal is to make hats and scarves to donate to the homeless and
other likeminded organizations around the community.
I've admittedly posted this without Courtney's permission but only because it's such a wonderful example of how good neighbors make good neighborhoods. I once heard Courtney explain to the City Council that her young family and others like it are the future of New Albany and I, for one, will sleep just a little easier in my own luckily warm bed knowing that to be true. Right after I buy some yarn.
I'll not post her email address for fear of spam, but readers interested in participating or donating can contact me via the address in my profile and I'll forward your intentions along.