Vidalia crafters turn shopping bags into sleeping mats - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Vidalia crafters turn shopping bags into sleeping mats

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The ladies of Smith Street Baptist Church's Crafters for Christs discovered a project and a purpose.

One member of the group learned from missionary friends in Florida who were making sleeping mats from plastic shopping bags. The missionaries distributed the mats in Haiti.

"When you think about it, something that we're throwing away, putting tons of them in our landfills, can be put to use and used to help people," explained Marjorie Albritton.

The women gather once a week to cut folded bags into strips, tie the strips together to make yarn, and crochet the yarn into 6' x 3' mats.

They estimate it takes 800-1,000 bags, and 80 hours of work, to make each mat. So far, they've distributed dozens of them to the homeless in Savannah through the Savannah Baptist Center.

"I do this because I have 15 grandchildren and great grandchildren," noted Nadene Foster. "There but for the grace of God it could be me or my children that are homeless."

Albritton said the project also helps give the ladies a purpose and a reason to look beyond their age.

"It's easy to get depressed and let your aches and pains multiply," she said. "But this gives them a reason to stay active and help others."

They're also eager to teach others how to make the mats and start their own groups. You can contact the ladies through Smith Street Baptist Church at 912.537.8661.

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