A table covered with colorful afghans is testimony that behind the security fence of Chillicothe Correctional Center lies women with an array of talents.
A table covered with colorful afghans is testimony that behind the security fence of Chillicothe Correctional Center lies women with an array of talents. Some offenders who are part of the correctional center’s restorative justice program recently made 24 afghans to be given to individuals who are very sick or dying and are receiving assistance through Saint Luke’s Home Care and Hospice Program (formerly known as Hedrick Home Care). The shawls are part of Grace Episcopal Church’s Prayer Shawl Ministry. Pastor Denise Vaughn first heard about the program about six years ago when she was serving at an Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. When she became pastor at Grace Episcopal Church in Chillicothe, she learned that there were several parishioners who liked to knit and crochet. “Knowing how wonderful this program is, I went to them and asked them if they would be willing to be a part of this,” she said. The parishioners soon came on board with the idea and have been making prayer shawls. The program recently expanded to include offenders who are incarcerated at Chillicothe Correctional Center. “I saw where the offenders who were a part of the restorative justice program under the coordination of Shelley Staton had made some wonderful quilts, beautiful quilts,” Vaughn said. “I e-mailed Shelley and asked if she thought some of the ladies would be willing to make some of these prayer shawls.” With a large amount of yarn donated, the offenders soon were making afghans. Vaughn later returned to pick up 24 completed shawls. “About 10 to 15 of us who were in the room, gathered around the table with the prayer shawls all laid out and we made sure that each one was being touched,” Vaughn said. “We said a blessing over the shawls, and prayed for the people who would be receiving them that they would feel the comfort of God in each one of them.” More yarn has since been delivered to the offenders and more shawls are being made. “These prayer shawls are being donated to Saint Luke’s Home Care and Hospice program in Chillicothe so they can be delivered to patients who are very sick and dying,” Vaughn said.