Group helps others stay warm with homemade cold weather items

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Now in its 4th year, the Chase the Chill Central Wisconsin group is bigger than ever. The group took to the town before Friday’s holiday parade, tying over 500 homemade knitted hats, scarves, mittens and other cold weather items for people who may need them this winter season.

The 4th annual Chase the Chill tie off event took place Friday in downtown Wausau. (12/6/19 WSAW photo)

“On benches, light poles, the hand railings on the 400 Block. Wherever we can find a place to put them,” said Grace Maszk, whose daughter, Sarah Kreager, founded the group with the help of her husband, Kip. “If you’re out and about downtown, you can grab whatever you need. If you forgot something at home, or lost it. The homeless can come get for themselves to stay warm.”

The Kreagers began leaving the items for the public a few years ago. When his wife found out about a group in Canada that does similar program, Kip says she reached out to the group, Chase the Chill in Winnipeg, and the rest is history.

“There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into making these projects,” said Kip. “There’s a lot of people in the community that will benefit from these things.”

The group of volunteers put in countless hours of work throughout the year to have the items ready for the winter season. They expect the number of members and the number of items to continue to grow as word travels about the work they are doing.

Kip says it would be great to see other communities around the country start their own program.

“There are lots of more, less fortunate communities than ours,” said Kip. “If you just give back a little bit, it doesn’t have to be around Christmas time, any time that you’re able to give back, you know, that’s really what we need nowadays.”

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the group, you can check out their Facebook page, Chase the Chill Central Wisconsin.