Rebekah Barrasso knows what it's like to deal with New England's temperamental winter weather.
She also recognizes that she has the means to stay warm, while others don't. So she decided to give back this holiday season.
Barrasso was identified this week as the good Samaritan who strung winter apparel such as gloves, knit hats, scarves, and socks from six trees on Boston Common, welcoming anybody in need to take an item.
A note placed next to the clothing said, "I am not lost. If you are stuck out in the cold, please take what you need to keep warm."
Barrasso, who took on the good deed by herself, was inspired by similar movements happening across the country. After seeing stories online that detailed people's efforts to provide jackets to strangers struggling with the cold, she began collecting donations to bring to the park.
"It inspired me. They did it differently than I did, but I put my own twist on it," she said. "I just wanted to give back. Boston is huge, and I see a lot of people in need and homeless people. And I know how cold it is. I have a home over my head to keep me warm, and a lot of people are stuck outside."
The 24-year-old Malden resident's gesture garnered significant attention online, and the clothing was quickly scooped up Tuesday night.
The demand — and response from the public — has inspired her to keep up the momentum, and to continue to leave out clothing for those who need it most.
"I went back to the Common [Tuesday night] to freshen it up, and I'll go back out again this weekend and do the same thing," Barrasso said, adding that she had planned to remain anonymous, but word got out that she was behind the donations.
The city has said they will allow the clothing to remain in the park, as long as the project doesn't damage the trees.
Barrasso is encouraging people to add to the collection, or contact her through e-mail — Beka.firstname.lastname@example.org — so she can pick up donations from those who want to help but can't make it into Boston.
"I'm going to keep it up as long as I can," she said.