Bag Therapy: repurposing plastic to help those in need

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WALNUT GROVE, MO – Plastic bags always pile up for Paula Moore, but it’s plastic that isn’t going to waste. Each week, she meets with her friends, who come ready to work. They huddle around a kitchen table and get to work.

“We meet, once a week usually, to crochet mats for homeless vets, and give them away to them,” explained Paula.

They make mats out of those bags, but there is a lengthy process involved in that. It generally takes anywhere from 800-1,000 plastic bags to make one mat for the homeless.

“We sort them,” she said. “Then we have to fold them all. Then they have to be cut into strips. Then you have to take the strips and tie them together to make plans, which is plastic yarn, and then you’re ready to crochet.”

But these weekly meetings go beyond just doing a good deed. It’s about the importance of keeping close with those they love.

“We have said this has been our saving grace,” said Paula’s friend, Sandy Dasal. “It’s our group therapy. A lot of us have had some problems, so we always come here to talk.”

“We do a lot of laughing. Sometimes we cry. Just a little bit of everything,” Paula said.

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