Franklin students turning plastic bags into sleeping mats for homeless

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Students at one Johnson County middle school are turning plastic bags into something more to help homeless people in Indianapolis.

A group of 7th graders from Franklin Community Middle School spend about 30 minutes each day working on the project. They are turning plastic bags into sleeping mats and pillows by crocheting.

“We have plastic bags and we roll them up and cut them into strips and then we will take those strips and tie them into plarn and plarn means plastic yarn,” said Marrisa Hoban, student. “We’ll roll it into balls and each ball of plarn go to either make a pillow or a mat.”

Some students said they had no idea how to crochet but they are learning. They did not want to pass up on the opportunity to give back.

“It’s giving back and it’s not about me and it’s like what I can do to make a difference like you’re never too young to start,” said Kuryn Brunson, student.

Other students wanted to volunteer because of their faith.

“Well my mom, she goes, it would be a good way to serve God and give back to our community by doing it,” said Larissa Lenkey.

The students are working with Church of the Lakes Nineveh on the project. It takes about 500 plastic bags to make one sleeping mat. So far they have completed about 62.

“Somebody’s going to get a mat and somebody’s going to be happy that day and that just makes me happy,” said Savannah Strain, student.

Their teacher Melissa Tunis said it has been a very rewarding process. The group started with just a few kids and now they’re up to 20.

“Really amazing that you know these 7th graders, they’re such an inspiration. They have such good hearts,” said Tunis. “It’s just amazing to watch them and how happy it’s making them being able to give back to the community.”

The mats come in different colors and designs. Tunis hopes to have 100 mats completed by November.

If you would like to donate plastic bags, you can drop it off in the main office at Franklin Community Middle School at 625 Grizzly Club Drive in Franklin.

You can also track their progress on Facebook.