Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa applied for an experimental grant of $500 to kick off their 1000 yards project. The project compensates Afghan refuges for handmade items, using yarn, knitting, and crochet supplies that have been donated to the church. To date, here is the current inventory of hand made items:
- 76 pairs of baby booties
- 1 ladies bag
- 2 scarves
- 7 winter hats
- 48 "washcloth bags" for bar soap. In Afghanistan, this is a popular item.
The Social Justice Commission at Trinity in Tulsa, conducted outings for the refugees, mostly to the downtown library. The commission found out that the women like to crochet. Many bags of crochet items were donated by the church. Jennifer Ratliff-Towner is the coordinator for 1000 yards explained the moment she felt led to do something, " On my way to buy yarn to donate, I felt led to attempt to pay them for their hand made items as a means to supplement their income, hence the 1000 Yards Project was created. I wanted to help them because my heart goes out to them. I cannot imagine what it is like to have to flee my own country because there is a monstrous group taking over. Also, while the families I work with are attempting to learn English, they are a long way from obtaining employment, so this "Experimental Ministry" helps them get clothes, food, etc."
Jennifer explained what they have learned through this new ministry, " We have learned that the Afghan refugees whom we serving are incredible at hospitality and are desperate to send money home to their family in Afghanistan because the Taliban rule over their region is severe.I have also learned to step out in faith and God will provide. And last but not least I have learned that the congregation here at Trinity is incredibly generous and our network at church and around town is getting the word out and we have received over 400 skeins of yarn and 2 giant bins of knitting needles, crochet supplies, etc. I never dreamed in my wildest dreams that this would explode the way that it has!"
Jennifer shared how she feels closer to God by creating this new ministry, "I felt called to help because I would want someone to reach out to my family if we were ever displaced. I feel strongly about helping them because Jesus instructed us to do so."