(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Scarf Project, in it’s seventh year, has grown beyond any expectations of founder Toni Kaltenbaugh.
Kaltenbaugh started the Project in 2016 after seeing a video on Facebook of scarves being given away in another state. Kaltenbaugh, while growing up, had always been told by her mother to stick up for the underdog. That mindset has stuck with her since childhood. So when she saw the video, she thought about those individuals who need a little help, but won’t ask. Therefore, the Scarf Project was designed so the scarves could be taken anonymously, and with no limit on how many.
All year long scarves, hats, mittens and gloves are donated for distribution one day a year. The second Friday of November is designated “Scarf Day”. Rain date is the 3rd Friday. Yarn is also donated in addition to the scarves. The yarn is passed on to those who knit or crochet so they can make the finished product.
The Scarf Project provides more than just a hug by a scarf, it provides a purpose for individuals. And we all need a purpose. There are individuals in nursing home or assisted living settings who help create scarves. A lady in her late 90’s, who lives alone makes a hat a day. A gentleman in his late 80’s has made approximately 300 scarves, just this year. Another young lady makes hat and mitten sets. The Scarf Project provides and delivers the yarn, which has been donated, to those who need it. They then pick up any finished products and store them for “Scarf Day”.
The Scarf Project recently held a “Tag, Tuck & Match” day, where scarves were matched with hats that had been donated to create sets. Several individuals who don’t know how to knit or crochet showed up to help. The final count after this event is: 1632 scarves, 77 sets, 521 hats, 43 headbands, and four snoodles.
The Scarf Project has come a long way in seven years. There were only 123 Scarves the first year and one location and now 1632 Scarves in year seven with 20 locations. They have spread out into Stark, Guernsey, Cuyahoga, and, of course, Tuscarawas Counties. This has all been completed on 100% donations of products. ALL products gathered throughout the year are distributed for FREE every year. Any scarves left over at a location is then donated to an organization that will distribute to those in need.
Additionally, the Facebook post went viral a couple of years ago. There are currently two active locations in Australia, two in Canada, one in New York, and one in Utah.
Donations of scarves and yarn for Ohio locations can be dropped off on the back porch of 730 Tuscarawas Ave NW, New Philadelphia. Contact Toni Kaltenbaugh 330-432-1930 for information on Guernsey or Stark county drop off locations. Kaltenbaugh can also provide information on how you can help if you don’t knit, sew or crochet.