Plastic bags turned into sleeping mats for homeless

The mats could have anywhere from 1,200-1,500 bags. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The mats could have anywhere from 1,200-1,500 bags. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - To most of us they are just plastic bags. We use them for groceries or maybe trash bags at home. But for one Montgomery woman, these bags, when you have a whole bunch of them, can make a difference in someone's life.

"The process is a process," said Karla Groves, a member of Eastern Hills Baptist Church. "It takes a long time."

Groves has a passion for helping the homeless.

"It was very cold recently," she said. "It bothered me that they were laying on the cold ground."

So she did what most of us would do, hopped online and started looking for a solution.

"I went to YouTube and found a lady weaving them. My husband made a loom. I started weaving them. I've made six so far," Groves said.

They're making lightweight, soft mats for people to lie on. It takes a lot of tying, twisting, and weaving. One mat could take months to make.

"I see these things in my sleep at night," Groves said.

By the time they're done the mats could have anywhere from 1,200-1,500 bags. They're hoping it provides a little comfort for those living on the street

"When you have nothing and you're sleeping on the ground and don't have a blanket to cover up with, yeah it makes a big difference," said Maj. Walter Strong with the Salvation Army.

Maj. Strong says at the end of last year there were around 800 homeless in the River Region and he thinks the numbers are pretty much the same right now.

So this army of volunteers from Eastern Hills Baptist Church continues to cut and weave their plastic masterpieces, that will likely go to someone they will never see. And that's okay with them as long as it helps make a difference.

"I'm very proud of these mats," said Groves. "I just want to make more."

She could use your help. If your church or group is interested in joining the group you can contact Eastern Hills Baptist Church by calling 334-272-0604. You can also visit their website here. Tell them you're interested in joining Karla Groves plastic bag project.

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