Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crocheting up a storm

(above is just a partial pile!)

So a few weeks ago I did an art club project with my students that turned into a huge THING. It was supposed to just be a yarn project and a community service project all at once and I was supposed to be behind the scenes and then.... well..... wow.

Daddy-O and Curly make prayer shawls for the prayer shawl ministry at Daddy-O's church (along with other members of the congregation). I have a whole bunch of students at school who can crochet. So I brought prayer shawl samples to school and some patterns, explained the prayer shawl concept, and recruited about 15 kids. I gave them all yarn and 2 weeks to finish. I told them that anyone who made a shawl, a baby blanket, or lap robe would be invited to come to church with me to donate them.

To keep the kids motivated, we meet in the campus chapel to crochet together. They came to the art club space after school and crochet. They crocheted in the library, and of course they could work on their projects in their dorm rooms. While the making and creating is going on with the students and me, there were behind the scenes happening.

Daddy-O told the minister at church and he got together with the woman who coordinates all the prayer shawl donations (who I called to see if she would care if my students made some and then donated them if we had any) and decided to do a special service dedicated to our students who made the yarn projects.

Then on campus, one of the women in the marketing department decided to make the project a the feature project to raise money for our organization. Then the development office sent literature to the church and it became Alcatraz Sunday

Holy Moly!

End count: We had 4 adult volunteers and 14 kids make a total of 24 prayer shawls, baby blankets, and lap robes to donate to the church.

Some of the kids wanted to help but had never crocheted before and some has just started learning. This became... an issue. All of the kids had their hearts in the right places but some of them didn't have the crocheting talent to back it up. We had some yarn projects that were... challenging. So God Bless Daddy-O and Curly who "fixed" a bunch: gave them edges, ripped out knots, made shawls longer or wider, and in a couple situations just... um. sorta, maybe took out some stitches and then redid them a bit smoother. This project had 2 angels who made ALL the blankets, shawls, and lap robes able to be used. AND, they each made their own shawls to contribute because I was afraid we wouldn't have enough and the project became HUGE so I didn't want to let anyone down. The ones they made were so pretty, too! (and I have to admit: I can't knit nor crochet so Daddy-O made one for me to contribute!) Thank you Dad and Curly because there is no way I coordinated this alone! (edited post- this paragraph added later)

Then today I, along with 3 other staff, took 10 of the kids to church where the entire congregation recognized the students. Then the minster blessed the shawls. One of my students (she knew in advance) was asked to say a prayer and did. Two others presented 2 shawls the kids made to a couple in need. An administrator from our facility spoke as part of the service and then the offering for that day was donated to our facility! Wow. Just wow.

I took all the kids out to lunch to celebrate their success. What started as a community service project, a spiritual journey for some, a way to give of themselves and to give back to those in need, to use their many blessings, turned into this wonderful reward for them, and so many others. What a wonderful blessing that day!

Those kids just rock my world more than they will ever know, and they don't know how much they gave to others.



Jimmie Earl said...

It was a wonderful experience for not only the kids but us adults. We sometimes forget what kids can do when they put their minds to it. Your kids do "rock" and, by the way, they have excellent guidance. It takes special people like you and the rest of the Alcatraz staff to reach the kids. Keep up the good work.

Curley said...

What an awsome adventure for all. I just bet that this will be something the kids will remember for the rest of their lives. They all did fantastic jobs.