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Trees of Kindness offer warm items to those in need



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Natalie Smith, Bobbie Trudeau, Cindy Mitchell, and Susan Thuillier helped set up the Trees of Kindness. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
November 26, 2020
MEREDITH — Festive trees set up in Hesky Park have some warm, cozy decorations of bagged hats and mittens that are free to take for anyone who needs them.

This week members of the Hooks and Needles group set up their Trees of Kindness at Rotary Pavilion in Hesky Park. Volunteers placed some of the 125 items they made over the summer on the Christmas trees so those who need them can have some warm clothing.

Hooks and Needles is a group of knitters and crocheters who meet regularly at the Meredith Community Center. Moderator Bobbie Trudeau said her friend and fellow member Cindy Mitchell called her about the concept of offering free winter accessories to the community. Trudeau said the group has been involved in numerous community service projects over its 10-year history, many of which have gone to other communities. Mitchell said with the pandemic and everything going in this 2020 they wanted to do something to give back to Meredith.

"Bobbie and I had worked on a number of different projects, but this year we kind of wanted to do something that was special to the town of Meredith," Mitchell said.

They spoke with the other members of the group about this idea and they all got to work making items. The group has been working all summer and produced 125 items to go on the trees.

Mitchell said with the pandemic a lot of people have been staying home and knitting.

"It worked to our advantage, it gave the knitting ladies something to do," Trudeau said.

The items were all collected and individually put into plastic bags to protect them. On Thursday, members of the group set up plastic Christmas trees in the pavilion and placed the bagged items on their branches.

"The theory is if you need something take something," Trudeau said.

The group is now spreading the word that the items are there and free for whoever needs them. Trudeau said they also spoke with Inter-Lakes Superintendent Mary Moriarty to spread the word about the trees to the schools.

The tree will be replenished with more items when they start running out.

Mitchell thanked the members of the group and everyone who worked so hard in making this project a reality.

Hooks and Needles is always looking for more members. For more information and to join call Bobbie Trudeau at 279-4647.

Martin Lord Osman
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