Friday, April 22, 2016

From rags to riches---HFP at work!

Some people think that all we do at HFP is put out fires.  Honestly, we do that quite a bit.  But something happened this week that proves that we are also proactive.  More than 1,000 pounds of yarn were delivered to prisons.  And that wasn’t the first time.  We’ve been doing it for years.

Here’s the story.  A member of the HFP Board of Directors, Judy VanderArk, has friends who know people who operate a carpet manufacturing company.  These names may not be revealed.

Anyway, this carpet company is willing to give away the unused spools of yarn that go into the creation of beautiful carpeting.  Needless to say, this is expensive, high quality yarn.  Judy has been on our Board for a long time, and she knows that several of the prisons in Michigan have hobby-craft programs that involve knitting and crocheting.  So she made work of asking these prison program coordinators if they would like free yarn.  The response was positive, and so was her reaction. 

With husband Pete, Judy has organized efforts of a group of volunteers to procure yarn from the company, and it’s no easy task!  Some of the unused spools are even in dumpsters already.  Our volunteers must find the spools, count them, weigh them and bag them.  It’s hard work and it’s time-consuming.  But rewarding!  This week’s venture resulted in the pick-up of approximately 1,150 pounds of yarn.  Retail value?  Certainly thousands of dollars!

That’s not the end of the project for Judy and Pete.  He heads north with one of their vehicles, dropping off bags and bags of yarn at Pugsley Correctional Facility in northern lower Michigan, and Brooks CF in Muskegon.  Meanwhile, Judy heads south, delivering a major load to Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson.  Hundreds of miles of driving!

What happens with this yarn?  Well, prisoners put it to good use with their knitting needles and crochet hooks.  Their finished products go to various facilities, including a homeless veterans’ facility, a womens' shelter, a cancer clinic, and elementary schools in low-income areas. 

It’s a winning situation in so many ways!
          The company is pleased---unused yarn is put to good use!
          HFP is pleased---we’re able to do something tangible for inmates!
          The MDOC is pleased---they don’t have to spend money on yarn!
          Program coordinators are pleased---they have beautiful materials!
          Inmates are happy---they can make a major contribution to society!
          Recipients are excited---their gifts come from people behind bars who care!

We’ve been doing this exciting work for many years, sometimes involving several more of our Board Members and volunteers. No fanfare. No major announcements.

A tip of the HFP hat to ALL who make this possible!

It’s just one more way that we touch lives…one at a time.

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