Church group recycles plastic bags to make sleeping mats for the homeless

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group in Sardis, Mississippi may have come up with the best way to recycle plastic bags and help the homeless at the same time.

Linda Gunn is one of about 15 women who meet at the First Baptist Church in Sardis once a week. They collect plastic bags from members and use hundreds to create plastic yarn.

“It’s an easy crochet project to do. It’s just a good fellowship time it is,” Gunn said. “When you cut your bag you end up with this. It’s a process of tying them. You just keep on the process of tying them.”

Most of the ladies already knew how to crochet. Now they’re putting those skills to use to stitch a better future for their community; it takes about 50 hours using about 500 plastic bags to crochet a soft sleeping mat that can roll up with handles.

“With the plastic there won’t be any bed bugs, no lice. You can hose them off and let them dry to be reused. It’s just something they can take with them,” Gunn said.

Since February 2019 the group has made about 16 mats and donated them to homeless shelters and organizations in Memphis and Holly Springs, Mississippi.

They know they’re helping to clean up the environment as well.

“We’re doing something for others. Having a mission project other than just giving money, we can do a hands-on project,” church member Barbara Vance said.

The ladies hoped other groups would be inspired by their project.

If you have plastic bags to donate, you can drop them off at First Baptist Church on Lee Street in Sardis, Mississippi.

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