Kroc Spotlight: Emma Clevenger

Emma Clevenger started knitting at the Kroc Center a little more than a year ago. Her needles are wooden dowels that she honed with a pencil sharpener; her yarn is made of plastic from grocery bags. Her project is making portable mats for the homeless so they don’t have to sleep on the ground.

“I started working on my first mat ever since my last birthday,” Emma says. “I come any time of the week I don’t have to work.” Soon, Kroc members and employees noticed, and got to know
the young lady who sits and works quietly for hours at a time; they started bringing in their own bags, and one member went to Meijer and secured donated bags as well. “People have been
giving them to me,” says Emma. “It feels good. I feel like I have a purpose in this world.”

In giving back to others, Clevenger says she feels God working through her. And, having encouragement from friends at the Kroc Center lifts her spirits. “I usually get down and depressed when
I’m at home, and sometimes I run out of [faith],” Emma says. “But when I’m at the Kroc Center, it restores it. It’s like a sanctuary.”

“…when I’m at the Kroc Center, it restores [my faith]. It’s like a sanctuary.”

Emma Clevenger, Kroc Center member

In September, Emma finished her first mat, and asked Kroc Program Supervisor Jessica Pollins to help her deliver the project to a local shelter. “She’s like my Kroc Center bestie!” says Emma.
Now, Emma is back to work on a new mat. In the process, she’s sharing God’s love and inspiring others to help her change the world. “Some people say it’s too late,” Emma says, “But I beg
to differ.”