Celebrating Volunteers: Marsha Whisler

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Her eyes may be failing her but her heart remains strong. A retired Harrison County woman says she may be losing her vision but she hasn’t lost her purpose in life.

This is what retirement looks like for Marsha Whisler.

“I just keep on going. I feel like the energizer bunny. I just keep going and going.”

Whisler has crocheted so long she can do it with her eyes shut. She keeps them open but they are of little use. 

“I don’t even really look at it.”

She suffers from a rare skin condition that has left her legally blind since 1999 .

“The best way to describe it is, whatever I look at, pieces are gone.” 

What she does see are veterans in need.

“I think of the homeless veterans on the street and your heart breaks for them.”

She learned how to crochet a plastic mat from a family friend in Florida.

“When I heard about this. I said how cold and wet the ground is and where they sleep, under bridges, you know any place they can find some place to lay their body down. I thought, well this may give them a little bit of comfort” 

With help from the Fraternal Order of Eagle’s Ladies Auxiliary, Marsha has collected thousands of plastic bags to be sliced, looped, and wound into a workable ball of plastic stripes.

“After I put the border on it, which is that last couple of rows all around it, I fold it up and put it in the bag, then pick up the yarn and start doing it again.”

It takes up to 700 bags to create one of these 6-foot-long works of art.

“I timed myself one time and if I did it from start to finish, it would probably take about 8 to 10 hours. It takes my mind off things, it just gives me something to do during the day.”

Thanks to the Miley Legal Group’s donation of $500, the F.O.Es Women’s Auxiliary will be able to provide even more comfort to homeless veterans.  

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