As BUSM students travel out to East Boston with the Outreach Van Project this month, they will bring with them a special message of compassion in the form of hand-sewn mittens.
The mittens are a donation from BU Medical Campus 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 jobs, families, normal lives,” Moore said. “They aren’t different from a lot of us.”
Moore was inspired to create something for the students to give to homeless people they met during the trip.
“I thought, ‘What can I do that would make any difference?’” Moore said. “The mittens are easy for me to do, and hopefully they will provide some comfort from the winter cold
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.”