By Cheryl Conway
As the temperatures begin to dip, the Morristown Fiber Fairy got it covered, at least the statues that is, adorned with hats and scarves in the center of Morristown for anyone in need.
With its first appearance in Feb. 2014, the Morristown Fiber Fairy returned even earlier this season on Nov. 6 to provide warm knitted outer wear to the area’s homeless individuals. Depending on the donations received, the fairy plans to continue to replace new hats and scarves on the statues as items are taken throughout the cold months.
The fairy’s mission is to not only provide items to help keep people warm, but to also raise awareness to the area’s homeless population.
Its “purpose is to shed light on our homeless population in Morristown,” says the Morristown Fiber Fairy, “by providing hats and scarves to people in need.”
One of the challenges of the fiber fairy is to replenish the items with dry ones when they get wet, or just simply new items when the ones on the statues get removed. A total of four hats and four scarves have been placed on the three historical statues at the center of town at the Morristown Green as well as the statue at the Seeing Eye near Century 21.
“We hope that someone in need takes a hat and scarf to keep warm as the temperatures begin to cool down,” the Fiber Fairy says on its Facebook page. “Our goal is to bring awareness to the issues that homeless people in our area face, especially during the cold months.”
So far the Fiber Fairy “got a lot of hats this year.” Since this year is “a little colder,” so far, the Fiber Fairy started to get an earlier start.
“If you have to sleep out there it’s really cold,” the fairy says. “It’s not like you are just running from your car” to go inside somewhere. “There are people out there who are cold right now. Some may not have heat in their house, maybe it was shut off for some reason, so this may be helpful.”
The Fiber Fairy wishes to remain anonymous as a way “to bring homelessness to the forefront,” the fairy says. “Most walk past the homeless. These people matter; there’s no difference between you and me. They don’t deserve to be shunned. We remain anonymous- what’s important is what we do, not who we are. We don’t need accolades for helping people. Maybe it’ll get people to want to help the people in Morristown.”
This year, the Morristown Fiber Fairy left cards on the items explaining on the back “why do what we do.” Those reasons are to increase awareness of the homeless in Morristown, to provide hats and scarves to those in need and to send a message that “it doesn’t take a lot of time to help those in need.”
The fairy explains, “It’s a call to action. It’s symbolic. It helps those who receive them just a little bit. We can’t solve homelessness but we can draw awareness to it. We chose to place them on statues because that’s where people who experience homelessness live. While people stroll through during lunch they can realize that’s where many homeless people live.
“There are people here who are homeless, who need respect and need help sometimes,” the fairy continues. “Don’t walk past them, don’t ignore them. People assume so many things about them that are just not accurate. Helping them is the right thing to do. There are a lot of people out there on the streets; it justso happened to get worse for them than it did for us.”
The statues adorned with the donated hats and scarves “gets people talking. We are trying to help a group of people and getting people to talk about it, is a good thing.”
For those who wish to donate, The Morristown Fiber Fairy is requesting hats instead of yarn.
“We have plenty of yarn,” the fairy says, adding that the fairy uses a loom to make the hat and scarves. Hats can be store bought too. “They need to be winter hats and warm” and adult sizes, mostly large and extra large to fit the statues’ heads, the fairy adds. Donations are accepted year round. “At some point we will run out. In a month or two, we may need more.”
The fairy will replenish the statues about a dozen times during the cold season, but that can change depending on the weather, need and donations received.
People can donate gloves or mittens too, the fairy adds.
The Fiber Fairy urges help from the community to donate warm clothing, toiletries and non-perishable food to the local food pantry. Go to https://www.facebook.com/InterFaith-Food-Pantry-114427038437 and the soup kitchen at https://www.facebook.com/Community-Soup-Kitchen-and-Outreach-Center.
“I’m so grateful the soup kitchen and soup pantry exist,” says the Morristown Fiber Fairy. “We can all do something. Together we can make a good dent in things. We’ve spent so much time running from other things; sometimes homeless people become part of the background.”
Contributors can also drop items off at Morris Plains Regalo, 469 Speedwell Ave., Morris Plains.
Go to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.