Big Thanks From Barrie Police For Big Donation To The Mitten Tree

Mitten tree campaign is more than 20 years old.

A woman has dropped off nearly 100-hand-knitted items for the Mitten Tree Campaign.

Police say the scarves will definitely help keep the community warm.

The campaign was launched more than 20 years ago by Barrie Police Constable Janet Schefter.

Her experience living in her car with no place to live and no money while at university stayed with her. Schefter says it was always freezing and I always remembered what that felt like.

She was also inspired by a group of people who were struggling to keep warm throughout the winter.

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. The need to help individuals stay warm within the community has continued to grow throughout the years.

Schefter retired this year to the Maritimes but returned to lead the campaign one more time…and train a new elf!

Janet Schefter (c) with elf-in-training Danielle Hutchinson (r) and Dan Blakeley (l) at Barrie 360

She has mitten trees at Barrie Police headquarters at 29 Sperling Drive, the Barrie Police satellite office at 60 Bell Farm Road, and at all three Zehrs stores in Barrie.

Donations will be accepted until Monday, December 16 for distribution to the following organizations:

  • 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

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.