Monday, October 29, 2007

Growing the ministry

I had a meeting last week with a wonderful woman who works for the Office of Family Violence in the Virginia Department of Social Services. We met concering a drive to collect no-longer-used cell phones for the HopeLine project. Please e-mail me if you have a phone you'd like to donate.

While we were talking, I mentioned this ministry and the prayer shawls we knit for victims of sexual violence. She was very interested in learning more about the ministry and working with me to find ways to work cooperatively with the domestic violence shelters throughout the state. An obvious connection would be to provide shawls directly through the participating shelters through this umbrella organization, making it much easier to ensure that the shawls are getting into the hands of women who may be blessed by them.

Another longer-term idea would be to develop an informal "knitting therapy" project in which local volunteer knitters would "host" knitting sessions, perhaps accompanied by a group therapist, where shelter residents can sit, knit and talk. While they're talking about their issues, they would also be knitting prayer shawls for other survivors. Not only would they reap the therapeutic benefits of knitting, but they would also be helping to create something special to be passed on to another woman who was a victim of similar circumstances. I don't know yet how big the shelters are (how many women live in each), but it would be awesome to come to the initial meeting at each shelter with a prayer shawl for every woman who was staying there, and then to leave the group with the ongoing goal of having enough prayer shawls for each new resident who comes there.

I know this is a lofty goal, but I think it's doable, and I think we could really make a difference in the lives of these women who have suffered so much. I'll be posting more on this soon, but if you have any comments or suggestions on making this happen, please let me know. Also, please e-mail me if you live in the Richmond area and would be willing to join me for a yarn-winding party to make more shawl balls sometime soon.

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