Wrap Up, Lancaster! finished a second year spreading warmth Friday with a final scarf-bombing in Lancaster and Columbia.
The group of volunteers, knitters and crocheters made and gave more than 1,100 scarves, hats and gloves throughout fall and winter. That’s more than double the number given away last year.
As weather warms up, the group will continue raising money for all of that yarn by selling T-shirts and tote bags. There’s also a possibility to teach finger knitting and arm knitting so new knitters can help.
Wrap Up, Lancaster! collects and makes homemade scarves and hats and leaves them in public places for anyone in need. Knitters already “yarn-bomb” places, covering trees, cars and statues with yarn. Scarf-bombing replaces the yarn with scarves, allowing people to walk away with something warm. Each item has a tag: “I am not lost! If you’re stuck out in the cold, take this scarf to keep warm.”
The scarves, hats and gloves provide warmth without any forms, rules or things like income guidelines. Angelia Reed, the woman behind the project, specifically asks for donations of handmade items.
“Handmade items are kind of like a hug to people. They’re comforting,” she said. “They have a good intention behind them.”
There’s a big need for help in both Lancaster and Columbia, Reed said.
Through the past two years, Reed’s recruited knitters, crocheters, weavers and people who place the donated scarves and hats outdoors. People like Diane Cunningham, Sheri Snyder, Bethany Storms, Grace Henderson and Jennifer Dixon helped decorate Penn Square. This year, they expanded to the sidewalks outside Columbia Presbyterian Church.
The group planned to organize monthly scarf bombing in both Lancaster and Columbia. The distribution started in November and ended Friday with a break in February.
Reed is pleased with the amount of scarves and hats they gave away this season.
“We doubled the amount of items we put out, which is amazing to me,” she said.
Reed’s already thinking about the fall. She’d like to continue the scarf-bombing October through April. Next year, there’s hope the group can continue during warmer months, perhaps with homemade bags filled with personal care items.
In the meantime, The Speckled Sheep will accept handmade items and through spring and summer. A GoFundMe site collects donations to buy all of that yarn and Wrap Up is selling T-shirts and tote bags to raise money.
You can find Reed at Lancaster’s East Side Market this summer. She’ll be a vendor there and sell Wrap Up merchandise and maybe teach finger knitting and arm knitting.
She’s also waiting to hear whether her idea for a mobile yarn store will take Wrap Up to even more people through the Great Social Enterprise Pitch.