Orangeville woman helps people in need stay warm for the winter

November 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

A woman pulls up in a car in front of Basia Knowlton’s Centre Street home in Orangeville, makes quick run up to the front door and drops off a large bag of gently used warm winter clothing. 

The woman asks nothing in return other than a smile as Basia thanks her for the donation.

Basia’s front lawn is filled with coats, scarves, gloves, and mittens, all you will need for the cold winter head. The clothing is stretched across two clotheslines at the front of the house while a friend dressed as Santa Claus waves to passing cars – many of whom honk their horns in appreciation of the effort. 

The clothes on the lines are free for anyone who needs them.

“I started out a couple of years ago,” Basia explained on being asked how she started giving away clothes on her front lawn. “I had a craft sale gone wrong so I decided I would give it away to anyone who appreciates it. I hung them up on the line and it just blossomed from there. People donate and I put it out on the line. I make hats, mitts, and scarves.”

She also has a program where people can donate five dollars or a name to be placed on a crocheted square. Basia takes the squares and puts them together to create beautiful blankets and scarves that she donates to local social agencies for people who need and appreciate them.

“The items on the line are free or by donation,” she said. “Whatever you can afford, or if you can’t please just take it. I’d rather you be warm. I don’t want to see anyone go cold or hungry. I have some food items in the bin. I have boots. I’ve been there, done that. I’m a single mom. I’ve got three kids, one with special needs. I struggled and I don’t want to see anyone else struggle if I can help. All the proceeds from anything I sell goes to maintaining the line. I buy the plastic bangs and the clothes hangers.”

Basia also creates some nice items she makes herself that are up for sale.

She also has a table with baked goods.

Basia says she has had a lot of support since starting the venture.

“People in Orangeville,” she said, “are just wonderful.”

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