The Wonderful Reason People Are Tying Their Winter Scarves To Lampposts

“I am not lost. If you need me, take me.”

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If you're in Bristol, you might be wondering why you're seeing so many scarves tied around lampposts. And if you're concerned people are accidentally forgetting their winter gear in odd places, you can stop your worries. 

The scarves, gloves, hats, and other winter essentials left in public areas is actually part of a community movement called #KeepBristolWarm. The movement is meant to help keep the homeless keep warm during the brutal winter by leaving them being such winter essentials. 

The items are tagged with a message which reads, "I am not lost. If you need me, take me."

The initiative was started in 2015 by Gavyn Emery who worked with U.K. homeless charity organization Emmaus Bristol to collect donations. Three years later the movement has become a public operation where people can independently help those in need with this unique simple act of kindness. 

"I went to Scotland for a weekend break about three years ago and I noticed a guy in the floor in the freezing cold," Emery told A Plus when asked what inspired the movement. "I stood there for a few minutes whilst everyone ignored him and walked on by. I was so shocked to see that nobody even looked down. When I got back to Bristol I wanted to hold one event in the winter called Keep Bristol Warm where we all meet with warm clothes that would could give to shelters and to our streets."

Thanks to social media, the movement has gone viral. Folks near and far are praising the people of Bristol for their compassion.

"From our main event in December three years ago, our Facebook page has just grown and grown," Emery told A Plus. "What was meant to be a one-off event grabbed the attention of a huge network of people. Since then, the local media has helped us, and holding awareness events throughout the year spreads the word across the city. It's simple things to do, but makes such an impact on our streets and shelters. We never ask for money just times and donations. #PeopleGivingToPeople."

When it comes to clothing donations, small, yet needed, items such as socks, gloves, scarves, and hats are often left out. There are plenty of coats and clothing drives but not as many drives, if any, for the accessories. The #KeepBristolWarm movement not only highlights how important these needs are, but also encourages people to get involved however they can.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include comments from Gavyn Emery.

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