Web Site Seeks to Reunite Gloves’ Owners

gloves.jpg AP Photo: Jennifer Gooch, a graduate student in the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art.
By JENNIFER C. YATES, Associated Press Writer, Sat Dec 1, 2007

A Texas native who experienced her first snowflakes in Pittsburgh last year was miffed by the lost gloves she spotted all over the city last winter. Whom did they belong to? Wouldn’t they want them back? Why were people just walking past them?

So Jennifer Gooch, who is pursuing her master of fine arts degree at Carnegie Mellon University, started onecoldhand.com in an effort to reunite dropped gloves with their mates — and in the process spread some goodwill.

One of her first ones was a moist, lambskin glove that someone had propped up on a ledge on campus. She was worried about taking it at first. What if the owner came back to claim it?

In its place, she left a small rectangular sticker. A drawing of a black glove is scrawled on it and says, “Missing a glove? onecoldhand.com.”

Gooch displays the gloves on the wall in her basement art studio at the university. There are 21 so far, each tacked up with push pins. Small yellow Post-it notes and slips of scrap paper hang there, too, chronicling where each was found.

One reads, “Found by Shaun Tuesday, Nov. 20 Penn Ave. between 29th & 28th.” Below it, the finder drew two gloves — one outlined in a solid line, its mate outlined with a broken line.

Some appear to be expensive, others not so much. On the wall hangs a beige, left-handed woman’s glove, with a dangling, sparkling rhinestone charm.

“That’s a great glove,” Gooch, 29, beamed Friday. “It’s leather. It’s got bling, but it’s so useless now.”

Gooch, originally from Dallas, photographs each glove and puts the picture and information on her Web site, where people can report found gloves and request stickers. She hasn’t made any glove connections in the two weeks the site has been live, but it’s OK if that never happens, she said.

“It’s kind of whimsical and bittersweet,” Gooch said. “It makes you feel there’s this opportunity for benevolence.”

Gooch would love to see One Cold Hand projects sprout up in other cities. She’s working with two women in New York to start a similar effort there. They hope to have up and running soon.

Gooch is even talking with local businesses about creating glove drop boxes all over the city where people can leave their fabric finds.

Like socks that disappear in the dryer or plastic grocery bags that fly away and get in trees, Gooch believes there’s something about gloves that is universal.

“If I have one person find their glove, then the entire thing is totally worth it,” she said.

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