Delaware Inmates Use Sewing Skills To Help Homeless


UPDATED: Friday November 2, 2012 5:50 PM

Kara Skillman doesn't consider herself to be much of a seamstress.

“I did a home ec project in the seventh grade, that's about it,” she explained.

But now, she and a few other female inmates at the Delaware County Jail are stitching together sleeping bags.

“I really believe we have a responsibility as human beings to care about each other and that is why I like coming here,” said Donna Imel.

Imel is the founder of SHARE and for nearly 30 years, she’s helped make sleeping bags for the homeless.

It’s been less than three weeks since she’s brought the program behind bars.

“It makes me feel really good makes me feel like i'm being productive and I'm helping somebody else,” said Imel.

Eight female and male inmates are participating in this community service project.

It's part of a therapy program offered to inmates who meet certain criteria.

Before the sleeping bags are taken to the shelters, the inmates write messages in a card that is given to the recipient.

Although her work may not be perfect, for Skillman, the project is personal.

“I know what it is like to be homeless and especially to be homeless in the winter it just means a lot to be able to help somebody,” said Killman.

The inmates are helping.

Imel said the demand for the sleeping bags is so great that she can barely keep up.

Her organization doesn't only go into jails, she said they often get help from church and school organizations as well.

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