SYDNEY, N.S. -- A group of Cape Breton cadets have been braving the cold weather to help those in need as temperatures across the region begin to drop.

Members of the 29 Sydney Kiwanis Squadron filled bags with toques, gloves, and scarves and placed them on poles and tress in downtown Sydney.

“It’s important to give back to your community, especially since we’ve grown up here. So it’s really important for us to give back to people who live with us,” said Sgt. Lauren Chettle.

The cadets also included a note along with the gifts of clothing.

“The note said ‘please take this hat, scarf, or mitts and keep yourself warm’,” said Maj. Dodie Hannah.

Hannah’s then 12-year-old daughter, Ashleigh, started the tradition nearly four years ago, and has become well known around town for her generosity.

“My daughter started this because she didn’t want Christmas presents. She wanted to help people in need and wanted the money from her Christmas gifts to go towards providing warm clothing for anybody who needed it – and so four years later we’re continuing it,” said Hannah.

By Sunday, many of the bags around the city had been emptied and Hanna says they typically do go quickly with so many people in need.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.