Havre Daily News
It's all free for the taking, but it's usually not taken all at once.
Havreite Patty Brannigan awoke this morning to find about 100 pieces of clothing gone from her fence - which for 3 years has served as a place where needy residents could gather donated clothes and other items.
“You can't necessarily call it stealing because everything's free,” she said. “I don't feel violated for me, but for the community. I don't know, maybe (whoever took the items) really needed it.”
Brannigan, 58, said she wanted to stress to the community that “the fence,” located in the 400 block of 14th Ave., is not closed.
Brannigan said she went to bed early Wednesday because she had come down with the flu.
“I woke up this morning as usual to see what shape the fence was in. That's the first thing that I do, is look out my window,” she said, “ ... But this is the first time that I looked outside and there was nothing there.
“There were a lot of dress clothes this time, and now they're completely gone,” she added.
Later this morning, Brannigan hung up a bag's worth of clothing on her fence so people wouldn't think she was closed. She doesn't usually hang up clothes until she has more than a bag's worth.
Brannigan has three signs posted along her fence that informs people that the items are free. Two of the signs say, “Please leave hangers” because they are Brannigan's personal hangers.
“I don't need hangers. I have backup hangers,” she said. “This helps a lot of people. People donate clothes, furniture or whatever and people can come and take what they want. They can come any time they want.”
Brannigan has heard mixed feedback from residents about her fence. She said a neighbor has complained about it bringing down “the value of the community.”
She's also had positive remarks from the people it's benefited.
“I've had people say that ‘You're doing a good thing. We love what you're doing.' I usually respond with ‘Let's keep the fence going,'” she said. “God told me to do this. It was his will for me to help out people in this way.”
Anyone who would like to donate items to Brannigan can either leave the items at her back door, put them in her yard over the fence, or contact her at 265-1534.