SAGINAW, MI (WJRT) — Lisa Atkinson spreads love and kindness each year during the holiday season. She ties sets of gloves, hats and scarves around trees in downtown Saginaw.
“I do it a couple times a week,” Atkinson said.”I see a lot of the homeless people walking around and I can tell they’re cold.”
She got the idea from a Facebook post and made it a tradition since 2013. Atkinson’s goal is to make sure those items are available for people who would go without otherwise.
“It’s all done by donations from friends and I have some supporters who have been doing it from the very beginning.”
On each set, there’s a special note dedicated to her son. Cory Dartey died in 2013, the same year she started her mission.
“Cory was one of the people who passed away from the opioid epidemic. He was in a car accident and had a head injury and it was a downward spiral from there,” Atkinson.
Every year, giving back to the community is a way she honors him.
“I want to keep his memory alive and I know it’s something that would make him happy to be able to help people out.”
She meets people every day who show grateful they are of her simple gesture.
“There are people who actually come up to me and are in need of hats and scarves because they are walking from place to place. At those times I get some of the best hugs I’ve ever got.”
If you would like to donate to Atkinson’s cause, you can drop off items at the locations listed below.
Valerie’s Downtown 216 S. Washington Ave Saginaw, MI 48607
Dawn of New Day Coffee House 210 S. Washington Ave Saginaw, MI 48607