'Breaking all the stereotypes'

Dec 02, 2016 by Veronica Ortega

A new class at the Elkhart County Jail has some inmates giving back to the community. They've also picked up a unique skill.

These men are breaking stereotypes by crocheting for a good cause.

The inmates have been busy crocheting together hats and scarves for people in need. And it's all thanks to one woman who's proud of the work they're doing.

Lieutenant Kris Klosinski of the Elkhart County Jail wanted to share her love of crocheting -- a skill her grandmother taught her -- with the male inmates at the jail.

She says after some hesitation the guys are now on board and really love doing it.

"I think they're on fire now and they're breaking all the stereotypes, and I think they're doing an awesome job,” Klosinski says.

The goal is to donate hats and scarves to local ministries, schools, and hospitals for people who may need help staying warm this winter.

When WSBT 22 asked an inmate named Luke why he decided to take the class in the first place, he said, "I wanted to help out all of the people in shelters or the homeless. Just knowing that I've made a hat to keep someone warm is enough for me."

"They're offering suggestions -- can we learn how to make baby blankets and booties so we can donate to the hospital? So they're thinking outside the box and wanting to do more,” Klosinski says.

Klosinski says not only did she want to give them something to pass the time, but also create a sense of self-worth by giving back to someone who may be worst off then they are.

"It feels great to give back, after realizing what I've taken,” said an inmate named Stephen. “Since coming to this program. I feel like I'm making a little difference by giving instead. I want to give more, I owe that much."

The class has been such a huge success that they're going to start one for the women inmates next week. According to Lieutenant Klosinski, they are very eager to get started.

Now these guys could use your help because they're just cranking these things out. They need donations of yarn, and plastic looms. You can drops those off any day of the week at the front desk of the Elkhart County Jail.

Address: 26861 Co Rd 26, Elkhart, IN 46517

Phone: (574) 891-2300

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