As an avid crocheter, I’m always looking for ways to use my craft to give, either for family and friends or for those in need. I can’t imagine any Christmas, wedding or baby season going by without making gifts that have been specially selected for the recipient. There’s just something about crochet (and it’s sister art, knitting) that elicits such a feeling of generosity.
After a recent visit to Cincinnati for my nephew’s wedding, I received a letter from my sister-in-law with a wonderful newspaper article included. The title of the article was “From Crime to Crochet”, showcasing inmates at an Ohio prison who participate in a program called “Real Men Crochet”.
Real Men Crochet is a program, created in 2008, for inmates who have been granted special privileges. Many participants have never crocheted before. Patterns are optional; most items are created by experimentation.
Inmates crochet items that are donated to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, to women’s and homeless shelters, maternity programs, and to Crayons to Computers free store for teachers in Cincinnati. Much of what they crochet includes delicate baby booties, mittens, hats, afghans and lap blankets.
“It takes up a lot of my time. It gives me something to do to keep myself active knowing that we helping people… to stay out of trouble,” said Mack. What a truly wonderful investment of their time and energy.
I know there are more programs like this one. If you know of one, share with a comment. I’d love to hear from you!