VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A group of volunteers is using plastic grocery bags to help homeless youth. They are turning them into mats by creating “plarn,” or plastic yarn.
The mats are being made by volunteers at Essential Church in Virginia Beach. They’ll go to the nonprofit StandUp for Kids Hampton Roads. Volunteers will then distribute them to kids and teens facing homelessness, who may be in need of a little bit of comfort.
There’s the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” For these volunteers, those plastic grocery bags you always seem to collect are their treasures.
That’s because they are turning the bags into plarn, or plastic yarn, and using that to create mats.
“We’re making mats for teens that suffer from homelessness in the area,” said Stephanie Ngugi.
Ngugi saw a similar project on social media and decided to organize some crafty volunteers here in Hampton Roads. The goal is to provide some comfort for kids and teens facing homelessness.
“We’re focused on the youth,” said Ngugi. “I want to bring awareness to the youth, the youth suffering from homelessness in our community.”
The mats are going to StandUp for Kids Hampton Roads, a local nonprofit that helps homeless youth.
“It can keep them warm, protect them from the environment and stuff like that,” said Ngugi.
Ngugi wants to keep this project going as long as possible. So, they’re asking for volunteers to make plarn, knit the mats, and donate plastic bags.
“To make a mat, it takes between 500 to 700 bags, for one mat,” Ngugi said.
Volunteers are also collecting toiletries to give to StandUp for Kids Hampton Roads.
The goal is to deliver 20 mats and toiletry kits to the organization by the end of April.
You can donate bags on Sundays from 9:45 a.m. until noon at Essential Church at 4020 Ware Neck Drive in Virginia Beach.
You can also learn more information by joining this Facebook group.