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Kate Barnard inmates "sewing through the storm" of pandemic

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – When hands and hearts are intertwined – there are no limits to the good these Kate Barnard inmates can create.  

“We call this ministry sewing through the storm,” one inmate said. 

This ministry originally started to help one correctional officer who needed to attend a funeral. 

“A family member passed away and we were having a graveside service so I needed a mask, “officer Robin White-Daniels said. “As you know, you can’t find them in the stores so an inmate offered to crochet me one.”  

That inmate was Amy Widener. “I just knew I could help out. I learned to crochet in prison. I decided I could do it like this.”  

That was the catalyst for a full blown mask ministry. Staff members brought in their sewing machines. Hobby Lobby donated several hundred yards of fabric.  

“I’ve made 50 so far,” said Widener.  

During the last month, hundreds of sewn and crocheted masks have been created and donated. It’s a collaborative effort with a common purpose.  

“So much negative has come from us. We have to admit that, “one inmate confessed. “This is our opportunity to do something positive, that lives have been changed. God changes lives.”  

Face masks have been made for the staff and inmates here at Kate Barnard.  

“We couldn’t find any Dallas Cowboys material so an inmate actually painted this for me by hand," officer White said.  

They’ve also partnered with OU Medical Center to provide masks for staff and children battling cancer. 

“It touches my heart because these ladies are so dedicated,” White said. 

They now know better and pledge to do better. The women are sewing through the storm and providing an umbrella of hope. 

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