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Larch Corrections Center's Scarves for Nepal

May 29, 2015

By Danette Gadberry, Administrative Assistant 4,

Larch Corrections Center

Image of the Arts for Healing team: Thomas H., David C., Chaplain Jakstas, Walter C. and Gary M.

The Arts for Healing team: Thomas H., David C., Chaplain Jakstas, Walter C. and Gary M.

YACOLT — Long, warm scarves made by inmates at Larch Corrections Center will soon be on their way to earthquake victims devastated by the recent earthquakes in Nepal.

The prison was able to get donated fleece cloth and recycle work crew shirts, orange transport suits and yellow rain coats to make the gray scarves, which have an outstretched helping hand, and a bird symbolizing peace and love, stitched on each one.

The idea behind the effort is to both help the earthquake victims and give inmates an outlet to provide a service to others.

It’s all part of a new, voluntary program, called Art for Healing, recently started by Chaplain Zilvinas Jakstas at Larch. Inmates don’t have to be artists to be involved. The program focuses on utilizing art as a conduit for self-improvement.

“The hope of the artists is that their scarves may bring a little comfort and maybe even a smile to a child who has gone through a lot,” Jakstas said.

He hopes to get the first batch of scarves finished this week and sent on their way to earthquake victims.

The idea for the scarves came up during the group's first meeting when Jakstas talked about the healing power of helping others. He raised the topic of the Nepal earthquake, which had devastated the country only days prior to the first meeting.

The inmates were all involved in the discussion, expressing interest in how they could help the people of Nepal. The group came up with several ideas including crafting wooden hearts and writing letters before settling on making scarves.

Once all materials were gathered, the inmates – David Chesnokov, Walter Currah, Thomas Hardy, Gary Mobley and Roland Camps – set out on their first art project, “Scarves for Nepal.”

They work as a team to sew and stitch the different parts of the scarves together.

When asked why he volunteered for the program, Mobley said, “doing things for charity feels good, and it allows me to give back.”

This story was also featured on KING5. You can visit the KING5 website to read their article.