We learn how to turn discarded plastic bags into comfy homeless sleeping mats!
Gringa Flan was lucky enough to visit some amazing volunteers creating homeless sleeping mats from old plastic bags. They've chosen the perfect materials to create waterproof, compact, soft mats for the homeless ... brilliant! Every mat created keeps approximately 700 plastic bags out of our landfills while providing comfort for someone in need. Over the years of distributing to and speaking with many of the homeless, they have modified the mats to include ties and handles, making them easier to wrap up and carry.
Started at the Miami Springs Senior Center as a way of making mats for their local homeless people, it has grown to include shipments to the needy as far away as the Bahamas & Haiti. With the demand growing, there are now instructional classes and meetups for assembling mats. The finished products are distributed through First United Methodist Church of Miami and other outreach programs.
The old plastic bags are folded, cut and crocheted while lively conversation, treats and smiles are shared by this fun group. You never know who you’ll see at the next get-together as the volunteers are always adding new faces, with some attending regularly and others whenever they are able. No matter, all are welcome!
For more information and to get involved, email us at GringaFlan@gmail.com.