OKC Woman Crochets To Help Homeless During Winter Months
OKLAHOMA CITY - While dealing with these brutal winter temperatures, much of the metro area's homeless population faces some serious dangers. Over the weekend, three people died while seeking shelter in an abandoned house that burned down.
One woman has made it her mission to help however she can.
For people who have nothing, every little bit helps, and that is Carolyn Herr’s message for those of us with plenty.
Knitting and crocheting is how Carolyn Herr has spent a good portion of her time for the past 14 years.
“I do an average of 4.8 hours a day,” she said.
All of her work benefits Oklahoma City’s homeless community, through Herr Projects.
She said, “The first year when I did 12, I handed out homemade crocheted blankets, which each took about three weeks to make, so that’s all I could make for the whole year.”
Today, most of what Herr knits, she sells at the OSU Farmer's Market each week. She uses that money to buy fleece blankets, gloves, underwear, toiletry kits and food. She still cranks out scarves and hats to give away.
Items like that are necessary when you are braving the cold on the streets. The Homeless Alliance estimates about 14,000 people a day do not have a home to call their own, and there is a shortage of at least 300 shelter beds.
Warming shelters and overflow space have now been opened to help as many people as possible, but there still is not enough room for everyone.
“There’s always going to be homeless,” Herr said. “We are never going to cure the situation. We can only help make it better, and only for a few.”
This Christmas more than 600 people showed up for Herr's main annual donation, and since then she has gone out twice more to hand out what she can.
While not everyone can dedicate this much time to helping others, Herr says a little bit of effort goes a long way.
“One day a week, one day,” she said, “give up $5, because with that $5 I can furnish someone food for like six meals.”
If you would like to learn more or help Herr Projects, click here.