EVERETT — They’re working through the summer to help homeless people stay warm this winter.
Pat and Sherry McDaniels, of Everett, want to obtain a nonprofit status for EGG SALAD Ministries so they can continue their work on a larger scale. They make hats and scarves and collect other clothing and share them during the winter.
“Warmth is our gift,” Sherry McDaniels, 48, said.
Several years ago, Sherry McDaniels had a dream that she was making egg salad sandwiches to pass out to those in need. She looked into starting a ministry but found that there were too many rules surrounding food for her to make that happen.
Instead, she started putting together a brochure that listed the places people could go for a hot meal in Everett and Marysville. That’s how EGG SALAD Ministries, which stands for exampling God’s goodness through salvation and love and deliverance, began in 2006.
Not long after, Pat McDaniels, 51, had a surgery. While he was laid up, he taught Sherry to crochet and they started making hat and scarves to give out along with the brochures. His grandmother taught him to crochet when he was a boy.
Now, he comes up with designs for the hats and scarves. The McDanielses save a bit of yarn from each piece they make and put it into a multicolor afghan they call the “memory blanket.”
“It’s all those little pieces of yarn tied together,” Pat McDaniels said. “It’s now a huge blanket.”
The couple takes donations of yarn and other crocheting supplies. They also collect donations of clothing, such as winter jackets and warm sweatshirts, for the homeless.
“These people are outside all day, every day,” Pat McDaniels said. “We’re just trying to help them stay warm.”
The McDanielses work with churches, nonprofits and soup kitchens around the area to pass out the warm clothing to the people who need it.
The couple credits their Christian faith with keeping them motivated to help the homeless. Last year, they started making “blessing bags,” which had hats, scarves, socks and other items to help people stay warm.
Sherry McDaniels said the work is close to her heart because she twice found herself homeless in the 1980s. She knows what it is to be cold and hungry.
“Help from the community is how I was able to get back on my feet,” she said. “I just know God protected me at that time for what I do now.”