Turning plastic bags into cozy mats for homeless

Residents at Prestige Estates assisted living give back

TYLER, Texas (KETK) - Local volunteers are using an item we often throw away and creating something homeless East Texans can use to get a better night's sleep. 

"I just like to have the opportunity to use my mind and use my hands," Mary Davis, resident at Prestige Estates, said.

The activity director at Prestige Estates has their residents busy.

"I can't even count how many hands and hours go into making this project," Yvonne Sturrock, activities director, said.

With bags and bags overflowing their hallway, the residents are turning something so simple, into something so useful, sleeping mats for the homeless community.

"Well, to me it's a pleasure," Davis said.

"Whenever we finish for the day, you feel like you've done something," Lillian Cormier, resident, said.

The mats are water resistant, easy to shake out, and don't attract bugs.

"At the end of the day, someone is getting something to make them a little more comfortable at night," Sturrock said.

Not one piece of the bags used go to waste.

"We cut off the ends like this and like this, and then this becomes the stuffing for pillows," Sturrock explained.

Residents say most importantly, it's an activity to help others, but it's also helping them.

"It is fun being with other people and visiting while we are doing something worth while," Cormier said.

"I'm very glad to be where I am, to have a place like this to spend my last days and helping," Davis said.

The volunteers meet every Monday to crochet the mats. The activities coordinator says as long as she is there, they will continue on with the project.

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