I thought this story was heartwarming on so many levels when I saw it here and here on NPR. A group of civic-minded crafters came up with the idea to teach inmates how to knit. It sounds like a bizarre idea but when I think about what I love most about crafting, it's that it transports me somewhere else. It calms my mind, it busies my hands and I get so zen-like that all I can focus on is what my hands are creating in that moment. It's perfect for someone with an abundance of time.
After being turned down by prison after prison, founder Lynn Zwerling found one in Howard County, Maryland that said yes.
Today, there's a waiting list to get in to the program, which meets for 2 hours a week. Inmates knit 'comfort dolls' like the one above which are handed out by firefighters, police officers and other first responders to traumatized children at the scene of fires, car accidents or other tragic events. All the while, it teaches prisoners habits that they may never have known: patience, dedication, focus and responsibility. Talk about a win-win.