Bags 2 Mats in Nacogdoches helps the homeless

Bags to Mats

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Bags 2 Mats members have fun working together on a project to help bring comfort to those in need.

They make mats out of plastic grocery bags; the mats will be given to the homeless.

Anyone who made several trips to the grocery store for Thanksgiving dinner ingredients most likely has an abundance of plastic grocery sacks.

A group called ‘Bags 2 Mats’ in Nacogdoches is putting those sacks to a good use.

The idea is catching on around the world. Groups are crocheting plastic bags into mats for those in need. In Nacogdoches, the group is called Bags 2 Mats. It starts with bag donations.

“We take our plastic bags. We fold them. Cut them. Make plastic yarn which we call 'plarn'," explained co-coordinator Pat Harris.

Twice a week, women grab their large crochet hooks and proceed to crochet the ‘plarn’ into waterproof mats and pillows.

When a mat is finished, cheers erupt from the group. The projects are a perfect gift for those with no homes or beds.

“There are many good people who are living on the street. Many good people who have broken relationships with their families. This is going to be a perfect deal for them,” said Constable Clarence Yarbrough.

"This is the way it will go. The pillow is wrapped up in it," demonstrated Habiba Awan on how the mat protects the pillow.

More than 30 mats and pillows, the result of several months work, are loaded up into the vehicle of Julia Jones. She will distribute them to the homeless from her shop, called Impact.

"These ladies love what they're doing and they're doing something beneficial to the community, so it's a win-win," said Jones.

A win for the environment too.

"We figured we saved about 50,000 plastic bags from the Nacogdoches landfill," said Harris.

Each mat and pillow is as individual as the volunteers. Some like multiple colors. Others are more monochromatic. No matter their preference, each crocheter is on common ground.

"We work together and laugh,” said Harris.

Bags 2 Mats members say they can teach anyone to crochet in a matter of minutes. Or you can volunteer by preparing the plastic bags for crocheting. Contact the Nacogdoches Senior Center if you want to give it a try.

Groups are crocheting plastic bags into mats for those in need. In Nacogdoches, the group is called Bags 2 Mats
Groups are crocheting plastic bags into mats for those in need. In Nacogdoches, the group is called Bags 2 Mats (Source: KTRE)

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