All too often, I take for granted the simple luxury of warm clothes during the winter season. Before leaving my house, I open my closet, choose from a variety of coats, pair it with my choice of scarf, and I’m on my way to brave another SouthCoast day in January.

Today, however, was different when I came across the “scarf poles” in Fall River. I was reminded of the fact that some of my neighbors don’t have the luxury of a closet full of layers, and one family is working hard to keep those in need warm this winter.

Michael Nicolan started the scarf pole several years ago to help the homeless stay warm during the colder months. If you have been on Durfee Street or Pleasant Street and spotted scarves wrapped around a pole, that’s the work of the Nicolan family.

Their plan is to add another pole outside of the homeless shelter on Bay Street as well, and there is currently a pole outside his father’s store in Fall River called St. Vincent de Paul Store. His sister, Kim, explained on Facebook that Michael “passed away unexpectedly and quickly from a Glioblastoma brain tumor,” and now Michael’s mission is being carried on by Kim and their father, Lenny.

Lenny spoke with CBS News and explained how twice a day, he takes a scarf from his store and wraps it around the pole for anyone who needs it. He made it clear that people in the community deserve credit for donating many of the scarves.

“We help people,” he said. “You will not go without a scarf. Walk in this place, and you will walk out with a scarf if we don’t have any more for the pole.”

Their mission to keep the SouthCoast warm has been a huge success, but the need for more scarves is greater than ever.

Through the power of Facebook, Kim is asking the community to donate their own scarves and to message her with any questions you may have.

The Nicolan family continues to warm the lives of residents and they have warmed my heart with their thoughtful and good-hearted gesture.

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