Helping Hands turns plastic bags into mats for homeless

homeless-pads-01The Helping Hands mats program enters it second phase Saturday with a help session for those working on their mats.

Helping Hands teaches attendees how to crochet plastic bags into mats for the homeless in the Elkhart County area.

Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EPL will have help on hand for any questions for those making mats. Materials to make more plastic yarn will be available but it will not be pre-cut, according to Rachel Rice, outreach coordinator for the library.

The session will be at the downtown library, 300 S. Second St., Elkhart.

The completed mats are to be returned to the library by Dec. 2 for distribution.homeless-pads-02

The mats are multipurpose and are highly requested by the homeless, according to Debby Applegate, senior administrator with Michiana Five for the Homeless. The group will be helping the library distribute the mats.

The program is made possible with funding from the Friends of Elkhart Public Library.
“They provide several functions, obviously they sleep on them, they are washable, you can rinse them off or wipe them off and they are lightweight,” she said.

The mats provide cushioning against sidewalks and other rough surfaces that homeless often have to sleep on.

The mats require hundreds of plastic bags and can be time consuming to make, but Applegate said that they are so important to those living on the streets.

“It’s something they very definitely need,” she said. “Unfortunately there are still people out on the streets, in the woods and with winter coming up we’re gearing up for our big winter giveaway of supplies.”

The mats are a great way to get rid of a product that often fills up landfills and allows those with a creative side to help out those in need, she said.

“Everybody has tons of these plastic bags, it’s something so simple and it can make a difference between life and death in some case,” Applegate said.

“There are so many people that are talented and crafty, here’s something you can do to help others that need it.”

 

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Comments

  1. Moxie says:

    Do the sessions build on each other or is each one the complete lesson?

  2. Ruth Ann Ashton says:

    Is this class of Helping Hands at the main library or my branch?

  3. Tina Wallar says:

    I really like this project but I don’t have the time for it right now. Will there be another opportunity for this in the future?

  4. Anita Hemmingsen says:

    Do you need plastic bags for people to use to make these mats? I have lots I could donate.

  5. Debbie says:

    Do we need to bring anything? or preregister?

  6. Karla Gapinski says:

    Will you be offering this again after Christmas?

  7. JANET L KRONEWITTER-LEEDY says:

    What size hook is needed? Been thinking about doing this for some time. I have been saving bags! Glad to hear that the community is getting behind this effort. Good for the homeless, good for the land fills and good for the people making them.

  8. Karla Gapinski says:

    Will this class of Helping Hand be offered again after the holidays

  9. Claudia says:

    Are crochet hooks Provided? If not, what size is needed?

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