While doing my morning skim of newspaper headlines and reading of any stories on interest, chances are I am going to be sucked into links of other stories.
One day last week I clicked onto Hospital Gives Newborns Handmade Blankets – Made by Prisoners! written by a Mary Fisher. The writer wanted to let us know that she felt this was the most disgusting idea to ever be hatched.
Imagine having prisoners do something useful, productive, that could benefit the community. This writer could only think in terms of how this was disgusting.
“How cute and sweet do those blankets sound now? The idea of wrapping your perfect little bundle of joy in something that was created by a criminal is incredibly creepy. Newborn babies are the epitome of innocence, so the fact that they are being given something that was touched by prison inmates really kind of contradicts the whole birth experience.”
That’s right, we can rehabilitate those prisoners just so long as it never touches anyone. What about when Martha Stewart came out of her prison experience with a poncho made by a fellow prisoner? That set off a crafting craze as people wanted the pattern and exact yarn used to make Martha’s exit-wear.
So these prison inmates are crocheting blankets and hats and other items for newborns. Some of these families receiving these items may have nothing at all, others might be well equipped for a new baby. But learning a craft helps give a person focus. Combine that with knowing that the items are going to real people who will appreciate the items.
If that is not a powerful feeling for a person, I do not know what is.
According to The Republic newspaper of Columbus, Indiana, there is one person to thank. Sister Dorothy Rasche of Connecting Link in West Terre Haute saw a need and was able to get donations of yarn to make the program possible. Some of the inmates are in for life while others have a limited sentence. I can only imagine what learning a simple craft can mean to someone. I cannot imagine how someone cannot see the good in it.
So I am wondering if Sister Dorothy needs more yarn for the project? I realize that there will always be people like Mary Fisher who sees this program as unseemly. But Jesus taught us that the least will be first and the first will be least. How wonderful that people who are the least in our society can help others.
How do you feel about a prison inmate making blankets, hats and toys for newborns?