Gray uses crochet to help anxious students | Wednesday’s wife

A Love of Crochet helps Michelle Gray give back by helping anxious students.

The 49-year-old spent 42 of her years in the Hardin County area between her father’s postings at Fort Knox.

Before entering teaching 15 years ago, Gray was a stay-at-home mom. She is now a teaching assistant at North Hardin High School.

After seeing the stress and changes that young people in the community have been going through over the past year or so, she decided there were things she could do to help students deal with stress and anxiety upon their return to school. school.

She belongs to a group on Facebook called Random Acts of Crochet Kindness.

“The idea is to make little things to put in the community for people to find and bring a little bit of happiness to others,” she said.

One of the things the band does is worry worms.

“They have a little label to go with it and they’re supposed to give you some comfort,” she said. “I love the idea of ​​brightening someone’s day.”

During COVID, she said, students have had the challenge of not seeing their peers as well as catching or passing the virus on to family members, and that’s on their minds a lot.

“Sometimes they just seem to roll with it,” she said. “Each adult I work with has their own small group of students who look up to them and rely on them for various forms of support.”

The Facebook group she is part of is another way to let students know there are people out there for them, she said.

“We see you, we hear you and you are not alone,” she said. “It seems to me that young people today have so much anxiety.”

She doesn’t want anyone to feel alone in how they feel.

“Michelle Gray is a quiet but positive force behind the scenes at North Hardin High School,” said Leslie Hall, North Hardin Youth Service Center Coordinator. “She works with the students daily to keep them focused on their tasks and show them that they are important and cared for.”

Hall said Gray cares about students and the community.

“One of the ways she shows her compassion for struggling students is by crocheting small items they can take with them, such as a worry worm, a power flower and the infinity coin for the peace,” Hall said. “She lovingly crochets each item and students who come to CSY with anxiety issues love them.”

Gray has been crocheting for about 12 years and in addition to anxiety items, she makes sweaters, shawls, blankets and stuffed animals.

“I’ve tried to do just about anything I see that catches my interest and sometimes you end up with a lot of stuff,” Gray said.

That’s part of what sparked her interest in Random Acts of Crochet Kindness.

“What you do, you give to others,” she said, adding that it’s always a win-win. “Crocheting is a great way to de-stress and relax.”

In the process, she said, it literally took a piece of string and made something like a sweater or a doll.

She also works in wood burning and jewelry making and is always open to learning new trades.

“I think everyone should have a passion for doing something creative,” Gray said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1416