After receiving overwhelming support from the River City, one woman continues to look for ways to give back during the winter months.
"The need is much stronger than we all realize," says Hope Fussner, Organizer.
During this time of the year, flowers are no longer blooming, the leaves have all fallen, and trees are bare, except for one pocket in Haynie's Corner.
"It was a lot of love and a lot of kindness," says Fussner.
For a second year, Hope Fussner has been providing warmth to those in the tight-knit neighborhood.
The idea is called the "Giving Tree of Warmth."
"I put on Facebook and was like 'would anyone be interested in donating if I made a small event to give out scarves and gloves and if anyone would be interested in knitting?"
The Giving Tree has gained popularity as word spreads and donations pour in.
"It was a blessing for everyone involved for sure," says Fussner.
Last year, nearly a hundred items were donated, and organizers wanted to make sure they exceed that goal. This year, they went above and beyond.
"Blew it out of the water," says Fussner. "We hit over 500 items by Saturday, so it was incredible."
Within 24 hours, all the coats, scarves, gloves, blankets, and hats were gone, showing Fussner the need was great.
She says she even had a chance to listen to the firsthand accounts of those struggling.
"It was a lot of hard stories," says Fussner.
As we endure the cold these next few months, it's the warm hearts of people like Fussner who remind us of how far a little kindness can go.
"Being able to do something small can change someone's life and impact them," says Fussner. "We are all busy but stopping and saying, 'here's a pair of gloves or a scarf can literally change someone's day."
The 3rd "Annual Giving Tree of Warmth" is scheduled for Saturday, December 16th, 2023 at 8 a.m.