By Staff Report
Hooks and Needles, a charitable crocheting and knitting program at Folsom State Prison (FSP), has been honored as the Small Club Project of the Year for all Lions Club projects in California.
The program, which began in 2011, is an inmate leisure time activity group, with the purpose to develop, design and craft crocheted and knitted articles such as booties, bonnets, beanies, blankets, hand-warmers, etc., for donation to hospitals, shelters and children’s care facilities.
The Folsom Lake Lions Club, which sponsors the group, organizes supply donations and distributes the items to charitable organizations throughout the region. Female inmates at the neighboring Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF) also participate in the program.
The Lions Club has distributed more than 1,800 handcrafted items to people in need since the program’s inception.
With the support of prison staff and Lions Club volunteers, the program has expanded to serve homeless students, providing a shelter for battered women and a local children’s shelter. The articles have also grown in complexity as the inmates have perfected their craft. Members today create: matching hats and scarves, blankets, Christmas stockings and their specialty, stuffed animals for children in need.
“Projects like Hooks and Needles provide an opportunity not only to learn a new craft, but also to help the community,” said FSP Warden Ron Rackley. “This program provides the inmate participants a tangible way to assist people in need which is an act of human kindness, and aids them with the rehabilitative process. We value our partnership with the Lions Club, and congratulate them on this well-deserved award.”
“In addition to helping people in need, Hooks and Needles encourages inmate participation in community service projects. It also reinforces partnerships among FSP and FWF, charitable organizations and the community.