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Family inspired to give homemade scarves to Issaquah homeless camp

The holidays are a time of giving, something recently seen firsthand thanks to a tradition in the family of a 710 ESPN Seattle employee, and a special friendship.

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Gee Scott Jr. — the son of KIRO Nights co-host Gee Scott — formed a bond with a man living in Tent City 4 in Issaquah, named Jerry. Jerry has been a diehard Ohio State University fan his whole life, and the younger Gee will be playing football there as a freshman at the start of the 2020 school year next fall.

That story was reported on by KING5, where Jerry noted that it gets particular difficult for him and others living in tents to stay warm during the winter.

“It’s starting to get colder at night, and some nights it’s very unbearable,” he told KING5. “We struggle a lot to keep warm, but we try our best to stay warm.”

That inspired 710 ESPN board operator Brian Schoening and his sister Allison, who teaches at Moorlands Elementary School in Kenmore.

“This was a story that that kind of absolutely moved me to just kind of start thinking about the little things that each of us can do,” Brian told KIRO Nights.

In the Schoening family, there’s a tradition started by Brian and Allison’s mother, where they make scarves out of fleece to donate to those in need during the cold winter months. In the spirit of that tradition, Allison’s fifth grade class — as well as a class of Moorlands Elementary second graders — made scarves to give to Jerry and his fellow Issaquah Tent City 4 residents.

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Each scarf was hand-crafted by a 2nd or 5th grader, and includes a “note of kindness” rolled into it. All told, that marks over two decades worth of donated warmth from the Schoening family.

“It’s a little thing, you know,” said Brian. “You talk about feeling like you need a ton of money or a ton of time to go and make this impact, and my mom picks up a couple of yards of fleece every year. Over the past 23 years, we’ve made over 100 scarves a year, so there are over 2,500 scarves circulating because of this project.”

Listen to KIRO Nights with Gee Scott and Aaron Mason weekdays from 7-10 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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