Sunday, January 8, 2012
Tina Fey isn't content with just being an Emmy-winning comedy superstar. She also has a deep desire to give back to the community. For the past two years, she's quietly been running Warm Necks Warm Hearts, New York City's most successful non-profit lost scarf return organization.
"Each winter, forty to fifty thousands scarves are lost in New York City," says Tina. "Some are quickly retrieved by their owners, but most end up in the city's Misplaced Scarf Holding Center in Long Island City. A few years ago I went in to look for a lost scarf of my own--I found it, luckily--and realized I could do a lot to reunite New Yorkers with scarves that fell out of a pocket or got left in a restaurant or whatever. That's why I founded Warm Necks Warm Hearts."
At the Astoria offices of Warm Necks Warm Hearts, the walls are covered with thank you notes from young and old, rich and poor. Phones ring constantly. Amidst the chaos, Tina and a staff of volunteers scan the city's online lost scarf database and try to match entries with descriptions on the Missing Neckwear Reports forwarded by the NYPD. When there's a hit, Tina personally picks up the scarf from the Holding Center and brings it to the grateful owner--usually a couple dozen per day. "One crazy day last February, I delivered 79 lost scarves," Tina says, smiling at the memory.
Though Warm Necks Warm Hearts gets a small amount of funding from the FLIA, the Federal Lost Items Agency, most of the expenses come out of Tina's pocket. "I just wish I could do more," sighs Tina. "There's a warehouse in Brooklyn with over four million lost mittens, gloves, and wool hats."