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Decorating Towns with Scarves – What Does it Mean?

Image is the property of Cynthia Gilder
Posted: December 6, 2017 at 5:42 pm   /   by

In 1973, Tony Orlando’s hit single “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” topped the charts for four straight weeks. People loved the song along with the message of what tying a yellow ribbon around a tree meant. The theme of the song is love. This Christmas season, people in cities all over America are not tying ribbons around trees but are instead tying scarves; however, the message behind these scarves has the same themelove.

Now that the winter months are upon us, thousands of homeless people suffer during the cold, frigid, and sometimes dangerous temperatures. “On a single night in January 2015, 564,708 people were homeless, desperately trying to stay warm and find shelter from the cold” (Wolf). Luckily, generous people are taking notice of this fact and helping with something as small as a scarf. “Countless people from all across the nation are taking their old scarves, or making handmade scarves, and securing them around the base of trees in parks, and light poles along city roads and in neighborhoods” (Share Tap). ” Most scarves can be found with a kind message attached, “I’m not lost! Please take me with you if you are cold. Stay warm. God Bless!” (Share Tap).

This trend began in Seymour, Indiana and has spread to almost all states in America. According to the Economist, “Donated scarves can be seen on trees in Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, North Carolina, Minnesota, and even more states.”  It only takes one person to bring this trend to a new area, and that is exactly what Elizabeth Sammons did. “She saw a post on Facebook featuring the scarves which caught her eye. With the help of a co-worker, she placed five scarves on trees around the town of Fairbault, Minnesota and soon afterwards a woman contacted her about them” (Sun Gazing).  This woman wanted to bring the project to St. Paul; Elizabeth helped her and brought over “1,000 scarves to be placed around St. Paul” (Sun Gazing).

Like Elizabeth, this story caught my attention. My daughter and I decided to decorate our area with scarves. I contacted my neighbor, and we brought our daughters and placed a few scarves on trees at the foot of the bridge. While there, we noticed mats, torn blankets, and dirty clothes piled under one of the pilings. Our girls placed a scarf on one of the mats with a kind note attached. That night, we felt a little better knowing that just one person may have had a little more warmth when he lay down to rest. Since then, the Beta sponsors at area schools agreed to include their Beta members in this project asking them to bring in scarves. Hopefully in just a short time, our area will have warm scarves for any who may need one.

So, if your area is bare of scarves, be the trend setter. Show kindness to those who are not as blessed as you. When you think about this project, its concept fits the Christmas season perfectly. When one gives a scarf, he is giving to others out of love to save them from something which they cannot save themselves. And isn’t that what Jesus did for us over 2,000 years ago? Jesus willingly became man for the purpose of laying down his life to save us from our sin.  John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Also, Romans 5:8 states, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” His gift to us is free, unconditional, and unable to ever be repaid.  Giving of a scarf in no way compares to Jesus’s giving of His life, but it does imitate His love. Imitate the selfless love Jesus showed us on that very first Christmas so many years ago. Share a scarf with a homeless person; who knows, it just may be the best gift you give this year.

Donations for this cause can be made to

Cynthia Gilder

Cynthia Gilder

Team Writer at Western Free Press
Cynthia Cutrone Gilder lives in Morgan City, Louisiana, with her husband and three children.She has taught English for the past twenty years on both the high school and the junior high level.Her love for writing has enabled her to self-publish five children's books and edit several other publications.
Cynthia Gilder

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Decorating Towns with Scarves - What Does it Mean?