(CNN) – A group of inmates in Kyle, Texas is giving back to the community. “I get all kinds of snide remarks and stuff like ‘oh you’re a sissy, oh you crochet.”
Covered in tattoos and sitting inside a correctional facility, this isn’t your average crochet club.
Mike an inmate at the prison talked about what got him thrown in prison, “I was selling meth and stuff and it was a lifestyle that I regret.”
Every inmate at the Kyle correctional center struggled in one way or another with drugs in their past, but a new program at the facility is helping bring out their softer side.
Mike had said this of the program, “After a while I got the hang of it, so I decided to stick with it.” Each one of these handmade crotched animals will go to a kid in need.
For these guys, the program is much more than a hook and yarn. They said it’s changing their outlook on life.
Mike said, “I really start reflecting on what I need to be doing and why I shouldn’t be here and where I should be.”
Each inmate only had a few short lessons but together. They learned and have already donated 50 stuffed animals to Kyle’s blue Santa program.
Mike said, “I hope whoever does get these animals, clings to them,”
As a perk, after every ten animals made by an inmate, they are able to keep one and send to a family member. For some like inmate Louis Wendell, it’s the first Christmas gift besides a letter that they have been able to give in many years.
Louis said, “I made my mom a stinky little bear about this size and I stuffed him in a little box. It was a little tiny box and I stuffed him in there and I sent it to her for Christmas. And I hope she gets it.”
Just like that bear sent to his mom, Louis said every animal is made with love for local kids… One stitch at a time. Inmates will continue to crochet and donate throughout the year. After Christmas, the facility will donate to other organizations.