Local couple opens their home for the upcoming holiday
For many, the holiday season is about returning home, spending time with loved ones and enjoying a hearty meal. Some area residents are not so lucky, something one local couple is keenly aware of.
“We run an outreach program for the homeless,” Tarrin Nicholson said. “We mine rocks, then cut and shape them into pretty jewelry.”
Nicholson said she and her partner, Wes Savage, have been making and selling wire-wrapped jewelry for several years, using the proceeds to help those in need in the community. The couple does not have a lot, but they are thankful to have a home and the ability to give back.
“Five years ago, Wes came to Ardmore,” Nicholson said. “He was homeless himself when he got here.” Nicholson said the pair have known each other for decades and have been living together for about three years.
Savage said he stayed in a tent in the woods near the Michelin plant and would make small pieces of art to would sell them at the roadside for donations.
“I would say, take what you want and pay what you can,” Savage said.
A community member talked Savage into making jewelry. Eventually, Savage was able to get into an apartment – and decided to keep making and selling jewelry to use the proceeds to help others get on their feet as well.
“It’s not something I thought I'd never be be doing in my lifetime,” Savage said. “Honestly, it's just kind of crazy how I came to it. Art chose me, not the other way around.” Savage said his life has taken him in a lot of different directions.
“It’s almost like life trained me to be doing what we’re doing now.”
Savage said as a kid, he was often told to go outside and play with rocks and stuff.
“Then, people would literally throw rocks at me when I was homeless,” Savage said. Where most people would not think of thrown rocks as valuable, Savage kept many of them. “I looked at it as a blessing.”
Some of the rocks Savage has collected have made good paperweights – and others have become beautiful jewelry. One rock ended up being worth quite a bit – enough to finance his move from a tent into an apartment.
“So, they may have begun as a weapon used against me, but I have been able to make something beautiful from that,” Savage said.
"Leading up to the holidays, we’ve been talking a lot about what the community needs,” Nicholson said. “We've actually had homeless people stay in our home before, while we help them get back on their feet. I thought, you know there’s so many people that don’t have anywhere to go on the actual day of Thanksgiving. I know that would be very lonely, so we just decided to open our house for people to come over all day long.”
Nicholson said they plan to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning and the football game in the afternoon. “Anyone is welcome to come watch the parade, or the game, to help cook or just hang out,” Nicholson said.
“It’s not like we can really afford it,” Nicholson said, “But we’re going to have as much food as we can. Anyone who comes is welcome to bring a dish, if they can. So, hopefully there will be enough for everyone who shows up.”
For those interested in joining Nicholson and Savage for Thanksgiving, the address is 411 A Street NW. Nicholson said jewelry is for sale online at bit.ly/30soYBj and they have a donations link set up at paypal.me/prayerbuddys. She can be reached at 580-630-5588 with any questions.