With unusually cold weather in Neosho and the weatherman promising cold weather for the entire month, the "scarf bench" on the courthouse lawn is providing a little warmth.

With unusually cold weather in Neosho and the weatherman promising cold weather for the entire month, the "scarf bench" on the courthouse lawn is providing a little warmth.
Started last winter, the bench on the northwest corner of the Newton County Courthouse lawn was turned into a collection of scarves, gloves, knit hats, shawls and wraps. These items are free to the public and no questions are asked.
Most donors think the items are being taken by homeless people or by people who can't afford enough warm clothing for themselves or their children. And most donors say they have more than enough for themselves and their families so are glad to share.
No one has come forward to say they began this program last year, but many people have contributed to the collection of free items. Everyone is welcome to contribute. Many things on the bench are "gently worn," while others are newly-purchased items.
All sized of stocking caps, gloves, scarves or even socks can be brought to the bench. People leave items at all hours of the day or night, although many items are taken at night and are mostly gone by sunrise.
Apparently people come after dark, looking for something they need to help them make it through the night.
Last year, things were just put on or hung on the bench. This year, many items have been put in clear plastic sacks to protect them from rain or snow. But plastic is not required.
Employees at the courthouse have contributed some of the items, and some employees keep an eye on the bench each day. Jim Jackson, a Newton County Commissioner, says it is a good thing and thinks it helps people in need.
All contributions are welcome. People are encouraged to bring warm items of all sizes to the bench at any time. Someone, no doubt, will appreciate whatever is contributed.
A small sign on the bench says "Take what you need, leave the rest. Hoping you will feel Loved, Cozy and Blessed."