By Devin Mobley
Many attempt to give back to the community in various ways, but Michael Strait has found an original way to perform this task.
Strait, an honors student at Tyler Junior College impresses the locals with what seems to be a random act of kindness. Outside of being a student, Strait has unique hobbies such as crocheting and knitting. It came to his attention that there was an opportunity to give back to the community with the use of his talents by accepting donated clothes and knitting them into blankets and rags that may be useful to different charities.
“A friend of mine mentioned doing an auction with a local artist. The handmade creations would go towards charity,” said Strait.
The idea seemed so perfect to him that he couldn’t refuse. This upcoming March, there will be an auction held by the local artist. The art that is collected will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go directly to the charity of their choice. The Children of the Night will be one of the charities participating in this event. Though Strait didn’t construct this event, he still finds himself in the forefront. Doing plenty of work to make it all happen.
From knitting together old shirts into new rags, to donating clothes to those in need, Strait is taking the initiative to think outside of the box and give to the community in a way that a lot of students are not. His kindness will go a long way, but he still felt something was missing. He wanted to get the community involved.
“I would love to have more community involvement and not just me taking some yarn and making something out of it,” he said.
Jessica Bullock, administrative assistant for the honors program, noticed Straits leadership and immediately approved his idea. She feels that acting out such good deeds without an authority figure breathing down his neck really shows that the individual has a kind heart and great leadership skills.
“I think this is great. Within the honors department, our goal is to develop the students into leaders in the community, and if they’re able to come up with something on their own that they can feel good about, then they have succeeded,” she said.
Giving back to those in need is important to Strait and others such as him. This is why he is providing the opportunity for the students and staff at TJC to help him in his attempt to form helpful creations for the community. On the third floor of the Rogers Center in the honors lounge, there will be a red bucket near the back room alongside the office of Bullock and Lead Advisor TJ McLemore. There will be an opportunity to donate old t-shirts as well as any unwanted clothing to go towards the cause.
McLemore feels that Strait has positively represented himself as well as the honors program.
“We try to encourage students to do service learning, projects that teach them something and also helps others, so the fact that he is doing this craft project is fantastic,” McLemore said.
The auction has yet to occur but is expected to take place this March. Meetings are currently taking place in order to form an official date as well as prepare for the upcoming event.