It’s a simple concept: help the community chase away winter’s chill by spreading a little warmth to those who need it most.

Citizens of Joplin will do just that during Chase the Chill, a free yarn bombing event that distributes scarves in public places so those in need, regardless of income and without any qualifications or other criteria, can help themselves.

Scarves are draped on trees, over bridges and on other locations around town. They are tagged with an invitation to anyone to claim ownership of the scarf.

“I think it’s great that there isn’t any special requirement for receiving a scarf,” said Ann Leach, project coordinator. “You like a scarf? Take it.”

Leach shared the idea of joining the national movement known as Chase the Chill with members of her church, Unity Church of Joplin. “Everyone was in agreement that this would be a great way to give back to the community,” she said.

The Chase the Chill event was started in 2008 by Susan Huxley in Easton, Pennsylvania. “Huxley’s intention was to celebrate the art of knitting and crocheting and building community,” Leach said. “But you don’t have to make a scarf yourself, purchased and gently loved ones are welcome, too. I just love that idea that during some of our most darkest winter days, the City of Joplin will have these little bursts of color appearing around town.”

Volunteers are needed to help with the event by donating scarves at area collection locations during November. Scarves can be donated at Unity of Joplin, 204 N. Jackson Street; Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th Street; Homewood Suites, 2642 E. 32nd Street; Empire Market, 931 Fourth Street; and Four States Yoga Downtown, 501 S. Wall Ave., and Missouri Southern School of Social Work, on the MSSU campus.

Volunteers are needed to attend a tagging session in order to prepare the scarves for hanging. Interested helpers will meet at Homewood Suites December 6 at 7 pm.

“We’ll be hanging the scarves starting at 1 pm on December eighth,” Leach said. “Anyone is welcome to help us, and it takes less than an hour to do so. We will meet at Homewood Suites to get our bags of scarves and our location assignments, and then volunteers will hit the streets to share a little warmth with those who need it most. “

To learn more, like the Facebook page at or contact Leach directly at 417.438.6808 for updates.