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These Kids Just Help Make Halifax's Streets A Little Bit Warmer

Warm mittens, warm hearts.

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Last weekend, Tara Smith-Atkins and a posse of little helpers left coats, mittens and hats and other cold-weather items around downtown Halifax for the city's homeless.

Smith-Atkins, a 27-year-old daycare operator, got the idea after a trip to Toronto last year when she and her husband handed out some extra coats to homeless folks.

"It was kind of eyeopening to see how bad it was in Toronto so we decided to do it again in Halifax," she told BuzzFeed Canada.

And this time she had some special helpers. Smith-Atkins was in Halifax to take her daughter to a birthday party and she ended up with seven eager assistants to distribute the items on poles and fences around the downtown.

The items were adorned with tags that read "I am not lost. If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to keep warm!"

We live in a caring community! Great to see coats downtown for whoever might need one in this cold weather.


“At first they thought that it was going to be a fun experience, which is good,” said Smith-Atkins.

"But as the day went on a few of them actually got the opportunity to walk up to someone who looked cold and offer them something warm, then it became more real for them."

The biggest lesson came when they were back in the car and some of the girls complained of how cold they were. Smith-Atkins took the opportunity to explain they went outside dressed for the weather, whereas some people don't have the means to do the same.

It didn't take long for locals to start noticing the adorned poles.

In Halifax if you need a coat for when you are cold and don't have one. #passitalong

Smith-Atkins said she's planning on repeating the item-drop again, hopefully with some Tim Hortons gift cards so the recipients' tummies can be warm, too.

Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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