Giving Trees At Brainerd Police Station Provide Free Warm Winter Gear
Winter in Brainerd often poses an extra challenge for those without adequate winter gear. The Brainerd Police Department is working to combat that problem with their Giving Tree.
Trees outside of the Brainerd Police Department are decorated with handmade winter hats and scarves for anyone in the community to take to keep warm. The winter gear is knitted and don a tag stating, “I am not lost! If you are cold, please take me to keep you warm.”
“People in need, it’s a great place for them to just quickly access it, see what fits them, grab what they need, and go on their way. Two, it’s a really good positive image for the police department. It’s just another great way through community policing that members of our community have taken the initiative to partner with the police department to help some people who could maybe use some warm hats or mittens,” said Corky McQuiston, Brainerd Police Chief.
The winter gear that is donated must be hand knitted or new from the store. The project was started over three years ago by a group of knitters with a local Brainerd business called Utrinkets. The group puts the gear out once the weather starts to get cold and they maintain the trees throughout the winter season.
“When they contacted us, they thought that this would be a good point of contact. It’s easily recognized by people. We get a lot of different visitors throughout the day and we obviously have trees close to our entrance,” added Chief McQuiston. “So, it worked well for them to put the hats and the mittens there.”
Anyone in need is welcome to come take winter gear from the giving trees located along East River Road in downtown Brainerd.