Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Muslims leave gifts for those out in the cold

Mosque members leave scarves in public places around the city for anyone who needs them.

Mosque members leave scarves in public places around the city for anyone who needs them

A note tucked inside the bag invites anyone in need to help themselves to the scarf. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

They've been popping up around the city since January: scarves folded up inside freezer bags and left at bus shelters.

The note placed with them reads:

"If you are cold, this scarf is for you. May you stay warm this cold winter. With love, Thunder Bay Muslim Association."

So far, mosque members have left 100 around town, according to Hikmatullah Sherzad, the teacher at the Thunder Bay mosque.

He got the idea from a CBC story, he said.

"It was a church ... in Sudbury who had a scarf attack where they knitted scarves for a couple of weeks and then, on one Sunday, they went out and tied it around trees and stuff like that," Sherzad said, adding the story hit home. 

"I don't have a vehicle so I walk a lot, so I know the importance of a scarf," he said.

The mosque decided to save knitting time by buying the scarves. Members then placed them in plastic bags to protect them from snow and rain, he said. 

What started as a single blitz in January has expanded to three and counting, as members of the community continue to want to give.

One anonymous donor left a bag of scarves at the door of the mosque, Sherzad added.

"We believe giving back to the community is an obligation," he said, adding he hopes people who read about the mosque's initiative will be inspired to help in their own way – just as he was inspired by the story about the Sudbury church.