As the winter weather becomes more frigid each day, homeless shelters across the country prepare themselves for their busiest time of year. Facilities quickly fill to capacity with those in need seeking protection and warmth. Unfortunately, that can mean more people under their roofs than beds, leaving many with only the floor to sleep on.
A group of volunteers from Faith Westwood United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, have found a helpful solution by recycling a simple product: plastic bags.
Each week, they crochet thousands of bags into durable sleeping mats for the shelters in their area.
The kind act not only helps those seeking comfort, but keeps the bags from clogging up landfills.
One volunteer, Marilynn Jones, has already crafted over 200 mats on her own, but she isn’t keeping track.
Jones learned to crochet from her grandmother 70 years ago and only cares that her skill is being put to good use for her community. She explained to local news, “I don’t like to just crochet for an afghan or something. That doesn’t help me. I just need to do something for someone else.”
If you’re interested in following her lead in your area, check out this tutorial for creating the mats. And, of course, make sure nearby shelters are in need before making your donations.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got plenty of bags waiting in your kitchen. They seem to multiply on their own into an avalanche of plastic. Now’s your chance to put them to much better use than gathering dust in the cupboard.