History

Mission Statement

To enhance the quality of life in Central MA by gifting newly-made, hand-knit warmth to neighbors in need, and by teaching knitting to the elderly and to children, giving them purpose, and engaging them in the community.

Impact Statement

Background Statement

Warmer Winters began as a group of seven knitters and crocheters knitting for homeless people in the Winter of 2006. The group gave out 200 items that Winter. In September of that year, the founder of Warmer Winters became a Community Builders Fellow (an initiative of the United Way) which comprised business consultation, mentoring, and a small stipend. It was enough to grow Warmer Winters to 35 volunteers. In 2007 Warmer Winters gave out 900 warm, Winter items. Shortly after that, Warmer Winters began it's teaching program. Last year, the organization gave out 3,300 items and taught 60 people to knit.

Organization Category: Human Services

Geographic Area Served: Central Massachusetts Region

Needs Statement

CEO Statement

Warmer Winters is a unique organization in that it serves several different populations. The primary population is people who are homeless or otherwise in need. We seek to warm bodies, but also hearts. Warmer Winters uses heavy, thick, warm yarn. Certainly, a heavy sweater worn in a home without heat can make a real difference. We're told, though, that the fact that we give beautiful, new items made with care makes a difference. We even put gift tags on the items we give so that the people who receive them know that we respect their dignity, and give from our hearts. Does giving something new make a difference, or is second-hand just as good? Ask the 8 year old boy who received one of our sweaters. He said, "It's so warm and comfortable. This is the first new sweater I ever had". A 4 year old girl said, "I love my rainbow sweater. It's my Christmas present". Words like these tell us we are warming more than hands.

Warmer Winters reaches out to the elderly in recruiting volunteers. Many are alone and in search of a place to belong. We also reach out to people with disabilities and people who are low income. Since we give all our yarn to volunteers free of charge, low income people can knit or learn to knit for their own families as well as contribute to the community. Our monthly "Knit Knites" are warm, friendly evenings where everyone belongs. It's fun for a good cause.

Board Chair Statement

I have had the privilege of serving on and leading nonprofit boards for many years. When I ask myself "why Warmer Winters?",especially as a non-knitter, I always point to two very important attributes of the organization... attributes that not all nonprofit organizations can state:

Won't you join with us?