Tina Crouse’s is a feel-good Friday story. She’s launched a Facebook page to spread the word about the Kindware Premier program. Tina is the Ohio project’s manager and she’s introducing their new collection of Medallion Cuffs, wide leather bands with a polymer oval stamped with a choice of an inspirational word.
Tina took part in the Kindway program when she was incarcerated. The polymer jewelry that inmates make as they’re building their skills is sold by volunteers at art fairs and other events.
Once they transition back into their community, they may opt to continue selling their polymer art through Kindware Premier. Tina explains it more clearly.
“I became involved in this organization while I was incarcerated and not only did it change my life, but it gave me a future. All these handcrafted gifts are made possible because there are people investing in lives impacted by incarceration. While I was incarcerated I was able to develop a skill set working with polymer clay that I never knew I had. It became an outlet for me. Each time I worked with the clay I would turn all the negative that happened in my life into positive. All the bad things that were said to me into kind words – I am a good mother, I am smart, I am beautiful, I am worth it and I CAN CHANGE! All those stones thrown at me at one time are now re-purposed and transformed into beautiful gems.” she says eloquently.
But life’s not always easy (here’s more of her story) and Tina works as a waitress and takes care of her children as well. She was able to attend the Buckeye Bash conference last month (that’s Tina with me and Ron Lehocky in Dayton). The Kindway women sent along inchies they’d made. Tina serves as a terrific role model for other women who will be released in the near future.