Volunteers use creativity to address homelessness


SAVANNAH, Ga, (WSAV) – Local volunteers are trying to help people who are homeless, while simultaneously reducing the number of plastic bags ending up on the street, in the ocean and our landfills.

Carol Greenberg, the director of a non-profit organization said she saw the “unique project” and knew it was something she wanted to share with others.

“It’s simple, easy, anyone can do it, and it could seriously impact the life of someone who needs it,” the MorningStar Cultural Arts Creative Director stated.

Greenberg can teach people how to make the mats in 15 minutes—a process she said could provide “immeasurable comfort” to someone without the luxury of a bed. Emily Bressler, the Marketing Community Outreach Coordinator for the Union Mission, agreed with Greenberg stating: “They wouldn’t be on the hard ground because they would have this mat in-between them, so they just have a little bit of a barrier and just something that they can call their own.”

Greenberg and other community volunteers have finished their first 12 mats and donated them to the Union Mission.

“12 mats might not make a difference, but if we have a lot of groups that are aware that this is a problem, maybe we can solve this problem. Our object is each volunteer teaches somebody else to do it and that their community starts to do this project,” Greenberg described.

Volunteers use 750 to over 1,000 plastic bags for each mat. They cut the bags into strips, tie the pieces together into a “plarn ball” (a plastic yarn ball), and crochet the “plarn” into blankets, pillows, and mats.

Bressler said their efforts are helping alter the way people view the local homeless population. She thinks it is important to use “out-of-the-box” ideas to try to address the nation-wide issue.

Greenberg hopes others will join their collective effort: “Anyone can do it, it’s just a gift from one person, who spent their time and energy, to somebody else who may not believe that there are people out there that still care.”

You can email Greenberg at MStarArts@gmail.com if you have questions or want to get involved.

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