Mitten Tree campaign seeks winter garments at family-friendly event

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is set to hold it’s family friendly Mitten Tree campaign event this Saturday. The day will be full of activities geared towards giving back to the community.

On November 30, the museum will host their annual event in an effort to raise awareness for those in need this winter. The Mitten Tree event will take place at 1932 Welland Canals Parkway (Lock 3).

The goal of the event is to develop community outreach and to raise awareness of those in need by collecting as many articles of winter clothing as possible. Although the event is free, attendees are asked to bring a new or gently used warm garment for donation. Some of these items could include mittens, hats, scarves, socks and even coats. The winter clothing brought in will go to Community Care St. Catharines Thorold and Start Me Up Niagara.

“I would always love to get in more garments. I believe last year we brought in over 400 articles of winter woollen garments and that was awesome … My overall goal is to expand the event every year and get more of the community involved,” said Lauren Curtas, event organizer and public programmer for The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.

The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a wide variety of activities available for all ages including live music, hot chocolate and crafts.

The crafts will help to round out the event by offering a learning opportunity about community and what it means to be a good citizen.

“I have some mitten tree crafts that have a heavy focus on generosity, honesty, empathy and the importance of giving back to the community, especially during the holiday season and how can we participate, help out the community and be a good person,” said Curtas.

Of course no holiday event would be complete without a visit from Santa. Curtas has it on good authority that the jolly old guy will be making an appearance for selfies and photos throughout the event.

If holiday crafts or hanging out with Santa is not a personal preference, the event will also have a knitting circle. This gives people an opportunity to learn a new skill or, for advanced knitters, to teach and help others work on their own projects.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, who you are, if you already have a project you are working on or if you want to come in and start knitting winter garments for the tree. We have had people come in and start knitting some winter garments and once they are done they leave them under the tree. It doesn’t matter if you are experienced or a novice at it. Many of our experienced knitters will help out the novice knitters. It is a cute knitting community they establish,” said Curtas.

This event also helps bring the community together and introduces the museum to people as a space to visit and enjoy.

“One of our goals is to help further sustain the museums identity as an inviting and accessible community space for visitors during the holiday break and try to provide our  visitors with meaningful, historical interpretive experiences with the crafts and activities that we do,” said Curtas.

The Mitten Tree campaign starts on Saturday but donations of winter garments will be accepted until January 4, 2020.  Anyone not available to attend the event can bring them to the Lock 3 museum during regular business hours.

For more information contact stcatharinesmuseum.ca or call 905-984-8880.

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