Students Distribute Mittens to Homeless During Annual Census
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, as BUSM students joined more than 300 volunteers across the city to gather data of the number of people living on the streets with the hopes of connecting them with shelters and clinics, they brought with them a special message of compassion in the form of hand-sewn mittens.
The mittens they distributed were a donation from BUMC Associate Provost Thomas Moore, MD.
“An awful lot of people who are homeless, but for a couple of bad decisions or bad breaks, would have had apartments in the South End,” Moore said. “They aren’t different from a lot of us.”
Moore was inspired to create something for the students to give to homeless they met during the census-taking process so the experience would be more of a bilateral exchange.
“I thought, ‘What can I do that would make any difference?’” Moore said. “The mittens are easy for me to do, so what the heck.”
Moore asked friends for any old or unused sweaters. He felted the sweaters, a process which involves putting the sweaters through a washing machine to change their texture, and followed a three-part pattern to design and sew the mittens together.
“If all goes well, it takes about 45 minutes to do a pair,” he said.
The mitten project began during Intersession, and he finished his last pair a week before the census.
“Almost all of the materials were donated from friends,” he said. “I set an original goal of 25 pairs, but had enough material to keep going, so I ended up making 35.”
On each pair Moore pinned a tag that had a Boston University sticker on one side and on the other a message that said simply, “We care about you.”