Barrie Police Service aims to grow community winter warmth with annual mitten tree campaign

Retired Constable Janet Schefter started the Mitten Tree more than 20 years ago, with a vision inspired by a group of individuals who had been struggling to stay warm throughout the winter months.


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The Barrie Police Service hopes to bring a bit of warmth to the community this winter, as the service launches the annual mitten tree campaign for 2020. This year, masks will also be collected to help keep everyone safe and warm.
Retired Constable Janet Schefter started the Mitten Tree more than 20 years ago, with a vision inspired by a group of individuals who had been struggling to stay warm throughout the winter months. It was her goal to see that everyone in our community would be kept warm throughout the winter months, which led to the creation of the Mitten Tree. In 2019, Officer Janet retired after a policing career that spanned more than 30 years and touched thousands of lives of all ages.
Many families, including seniors, are faced with low income, high rent, and everyday living expenses, and it can be a struggle to make ends meet. This year, more than ever, there is a need to help individuals stay warm within the community.
The Mitten Tree is one of many holiday initiatives that allow members of the service and the community to give back. Tens of thousands of hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves have been distributed to individuals of all ages, throughout the City of Barrie and the surrounding area.
The success of the Mitten Tree can be attributed to the generosity of the community, local elementary schools, and members of the Barrie Police Service. Donations have been sent in from Toronto and as far away as Nanaimo, British Columbia from avid knitters who contribute to the campaign every year.
The Mitten Trees continue to become more vibrant and erupt with vast donations of hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves which have been donated to: Youth Haven, David Busby Centre / Out of the Cold, The Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Cancer Care, CARAH House, Salvation Army Barrie, Hospice Simcoe.
If you would like to donate to the Mitten Tree campaign, please visit the Barrie Police Service Headquarters, 110 Fairview Road, Barrie. A tree has been generously donated by Sommerville Nurseries and is located in the lobby of the Barrie Simcoe Emergency Services Campus.
All donated items must be newly purchased or made for health reasons. Donations will be accepted up until Sunday, December 20, 2020. All inquiries can be directed to 705-725-7025, ext. 2907.

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