(Olathe, Kansas) – Mary Cook’s mother tried teaching her to crochet, but Mary says it was hard for her to relate to the kind of activity her mom enjoyed doing in her downtime.
Today, however, as a resident at Good Samaritan Society – Olathe [Cedar Lake Village], Mary says she’s found a new way to relate to her mom — and to others. Mary is part of a group working to crochet mats for homeless community members.
“It’s through a faith-based organization, and they’d like to have a hundred mats made by Christmas to hand out,” says Denise Hahn, wellness director at the Olathe campus. “They don’t expect us to do all 100, but we’re trying to do our part. The mats are made out of plastic bags, so it’s a win-win situation. We keep these out of the landfills and we’re also putting them to good use. We call it ‘plarn,’ for plastic yarn.”
“I lived on a farm and my mom worked really, really hard, but anytime she sat down she was either embroidering or crocheting or doing something,” says Mary. “I tried to learn to crochet and I didn’t like to spend my time crocheting because I wanted to read. So when they were talking about doing these I thought, ‘You know, I can honor my mom by learning to crochet and then be with others as well.’”
As the women crochet and chat, Lou Ann kneels down and tests out one of the mats.
“It seems like so little that I could be doing, but the lady told us that if you are sleeping on the concrete or asphalt, these mats feel pretty good.”
“These people really need help, and they are so grateful for anything that you do for them.”
The women feel blessed that they are able to touch the lives of others, but Mary says she also sees an impact in her own life.
“Each stitch kind of brings you up to saying, ‘Well, you know, some of these are not so perfect. And I guess God didn’t really plan for us to be perfect, he just wanted it to be a process of keep on going. So I’m seeking to be more perfect every day’,” she says.
“Christ would be pleased,” says Denise. “I think he’s smiling down on us.”
Click here to learn more about volunteering at Good Samaritan Society – Olathe.
By Lonnie Nichols
Good Samaritan Society staff member
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