Twenty five guys, all inmates from the Jessup Pre-Release Unit, decided tonight to begin The Comfort Doll Project. This project is a program under the auspices of Power Excel. http://www.powerexcel.org/
The Jessup Pre-Release Unit is located at the intersection where Howard County meets Anne Arundel County.
All participants will learn to knit and make these small and comforting stuffed dolls to be distributed to the Howard County and Anne Arundel County first responders. These comfort dolls will be offerred as an aid to communicate with and comfort traumatized children.
When asked why he would like to start making these comfort dolls, one inmate expressed the desire to give back to the community. Another explained that there is nothing but time "behind these wall". Others wondered if they might be able to make a doll for one of thier children.
After all explained, Lynn, the driving force behind this project, you guys won't be incarcerated forever and here's an easy, small step to help you jump back into the community. But we're starting small. First, we'll learn to knit, then we'll make a doll or two and see if we can finish enough to invite those first responders in to accept this community gift.
The guys were familiar with knitting and almost all admitted to having seen a grandmother knit. Amazingly many already knew that knitting wasn't "woman's work" and that it had originated as a male skill, maybe when a fishman started by knitting his nets to catch fish.
Knitting is not for the faint of heart but hopefully patience, anger management, goal setting and pride will be the result of learning this new skill.
The goal of this blog is to document this program; to encourage the community to accept and understand these gifts and to reward the inmates for the effort to produce these dolls.
Here's a call for bamboo needles, size 7 or 8 in a short length. And of course any donation would be appreciated.
Yarn is not an issue, but volunteers would be wonderful. Simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org
At it stands, we will be meeting at the Jessup Pre-Release Unit, weekly on Thursday nights from 5 until 8. Anyone interested need only identify yourself, provide me with your full name and your social security number and jump in.