Orange is the Color of Community Caring
"A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dream of." Nelson Mandela
When you see pink, you might think of breast cancer. Green is all about the environment. The next time you see orange, think of caring. More specifically, think of YOU 177 – and the transformative power of YOU (Young and Old United) to create a stronger, more caring community for all.
The new symbol of caring? Forget a little ribbon. We're going BIG – an orange scarf, handmade (with love and care!) by all ages from teens to elders. It's like giving a hug people can wear!
There will be Orange Scarves of Caring popping up in YOU 177 communities, starting in Whitchurch-Stouffville (WS). WS is the Lead Canadian Innovator Community for YOU 177, which stands for the power YOU have to make a BIG difference in 1 World we all care for and share with 7 Generations and 7 Billion People. Find out more about WS YOU 177 at www.wsyou177.org.
We kicked off with a yarnstorming in downtown Stouffville – did you notice orange scarves in the trees? The orange scarves were sprinkled in strategic locations throughout the community, and a big tree on Main Street was festooned with nearly 100 scarves. Even the WS Public Library got into the spirit by "going orange."
Then we had a big Community Caring Celebration! Everyone arrived wearing orange – and received an orange heart sticker to complete their look. All generations shared food, music, inspiring presentations, and the Orange Scarf Ceremony. The youngest person to receive a WS YOU 177 Orange Scarf of Caring was 3 months old; the oldest 105 years old.
Now let's carry that spirit of caring forward.
To help build a more caring community, we need your help. First, whether you're an old pro or just learning to knit or crochet, we need people to make orange scarves. Second, we invite your nominations for "scarfings." Read on to find out more…
Orange radiates warmth, combining the energy of red with the optimism of yellow. It's the color of adventure! YOU 177 is certainly a community-wide adventure. Orange is also associated with illumination, knowledge, transformation, and caring.
What better way to show someone you care than with a warm, cozy orange scarf? All generations are coming together to knit a stronger community by knitting or crocheting for community scarfings – a surprise gift of a YOU 177 Orange Scarf of Caring to someone helping create a caring community OR to someone who might be able to use a little extra caring.
Nominate someone you think deserves a beautiful, handmade YOU 177 Orange Scarf of Caring – a gift from the community to the community – by e-mailing us the person's name, why you're nominating them, and their contact information. You can also call (905) 852-3777.
We're asking everyone who knits or crochets – or we can teach you if you'd like to learn! – to contribute orange scarves. You can knit or crochet at home on your own, or get involved in the Loops group for all ages and abilities.
We're doing all lengths and patterns of scarves, ones that can be worn by children, teens, men, and women. The kind of orange color we're suggesting (though you can choose what you want) is not too bright and not too brown – Patons Canadiana Tangy orange yarn.
If you make orange scarves at home, drop them off at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library, 2 Park Drive.
You can also get involved with the intergenerational Loops group, a knitting and crochet program for all ages, from 10 to 100 years! Learn a new skill or share your expertise, make new friends, have fun, and help knit a stronger community for everyone. Loops meets Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30 pm at Parkview Home, 123 Weldon Road in Founders' Hall, Whitchurch-Stouffville. Spread the word by sharing the Loops flyer.
WS YOU 177 is all about building 7-Generation Community – so we wanted to scarf one of our youngest residents and one of our oldest. Our youngest recipient is 3-month-old Sean Neugebauer. He has a whole lifetime ahead of him! Our oldest recipient is 105-year-old Marjorie Gayman, a resident at Parkview Home in Stouffville with a lifetime of memories. Marjorie was interviewed for the Listen to a Life Story Contest. She was born one of five children in a family that lived on the outskirts of the then Stouffville, in the quaint little town of Almira.
Jim Thomas has written for area newspapers for more than 60 years. He was presented with a YOU 177 Orange Scarf of Caring by current editor of the Stouffville Sun-Tribune, Jim Mason. Says Mason, "We competed against each other as editors of Stouffville newspapers during the 1980s and 1990s. He was always gracious to the new kid on the block of Main St. He still is. I didn't realize it at the time, but Jim Thomas was mentoring me, even if we were working for competing media companies. Things I learned from Jim Thomas: kindness in the face of adversity; compassion; tenacity – and doing two things at once. Many years ago, I asked Jim if he'd watched an amazing Blue Jays' comeback the night before. 'Listened,' he said before a long pause. 'That way I can do something else at the same time.' That other thing was writing his column for that week's paper. Lesson learned."
Emily Winters, a grade 6 student at Summitview School, is part of the intergenerational Loops knitting and crochet group that meets every Tuesday at Parkview. Her dream for WS is that people are kind to each other and include everyone. She nominated her grandfather, Tom Winters, to be scarfed because she thinks he's been kind to many people in the community. A retired plumber, Tom was a long-time member of the Lions Club, and is a recipient of the Queen's Jubilee medal and Heart of Gold Award for his years of community service. Facing a recent battle with cancer, he could also use a little extra caring himself. Emily scarfed her grandfather with a WS YOU 177 orange scarf made by Natalie Wood, another member of the Loops group. Tom's ongoing, steady role in the community reminds us of the words of Louis D. Brandeis, US Supreme Court Associate Justice: "The most important political office is that of private citizen."
94 years is a lot of years of life experience, and that's something to celebrate! One week away from her birthday, we scarfed Alison Turnbull, a delightful resident of Stouffville Creek retirement residence. With age should come some benefits, a WS YOU 177 orange scarf among them! Alison represents so many elders who have lived long lives caring for others, and deserve our caring and respect in return. Alison agrees that you're never too young or too old to dream. And she likes the quote from Louis Armstrong, "The best age is the age you are."
Stouffville District Secondary School teacher Miriam Smith nominated one of her students for a WS YOU 177 orange scarf. Hannah Milne is a student with a great work ethic, perseverance, and dedication. She shows kindness to her peers and takes initiative in class. She's a warm, steady, responsible member of Spartan Sound (the school choir), and a quiet leader who leads by example. She helps create a more caring community for all. Way to go Hannah! Her scarf was made by Paola Malandrino, a teacher at Wendat Village Public School.
Susan Boisvert had a very special little person in mind for a WS YOU 177 scarfing. With love and care, she knit a delicate and beautiful orange scarf with a heart pattern for one of Whitchurch-Stouffville's youngest citizens. On May 19, 2014, 21-month-old Luca Gennuso fell in a pool being constructed in his family's backyard. He was not expected to survive, as this news story details. But little Luca surprised and inspired everyone. His family's love, support, and care are ongoing. The family faces thousands of dollars in therapy bills, and has started a fundraising website called Luca's Will to Live.
Marion Wells, head of the WS Food Bank, received an orange scarf her long-time friend Diane Ward made with a secret message. Diane doesn't believe you should waste anything, from watching your pennies to recycling. So, she took some scraps of extra wool and cleverly wove them into a decorative pattern at the ends of the scarf. It's a subtle reminder to live smartly and sustainably. We chose Marion Wells to honor her many years at the WS Food Bank and her involvement in the community. We also thought she could use a little extra caring in light of a recent theft at the Food Bank.
The first WS scarfing was Carolyn Nordheimer James, CEO of the WS Public Library. Her scarf was knit by our Orange Scarf Queen, Susan Boisvert. Without Carolyn's support, WS YOU 177 might have never blossomed. She works behind the scenes to support the community in so many ways that we felt she deserved a scarf of thanks for everything she does. Visit the WS Public Library. You can also find out how WS Public Library is a YOU 177 model for other libraries around the world.
Who will be next? Whitchurch-Stouffville, do you have a nominee for a scarfing – a surprise gift of a YOU 177 Orange Scarf of Caring to someone helping create a caring community OR to someone who might be able to use a little extra caring? E-mail us the person's name, why you're nominating them, and their contact information. You never know where and when you might see an orange scarf!
Keep up-to-date on everything happening with WS YOU 177 – Check out News & Events. Follow us on Twitter. For regular updates, sign up for the Legacy Project e-newsletter. If you have questions, call the Legacy Project at (905) 852-3777 or e-mail us.