I Am Local 6: ‘Bag Ladies’ make plastic bags into beds for homeless
Do you have any plastic bags floating around your home? Many of us use them as garbage bags, doggie bags or extra lunch bags.
Janice Akin says she and her friends are using them to make mats for homeless people to sleep on. She says they’ve already sent a bunch down to families in Louisiana who lost their homes in last month’s flood.
"It’s addictive," says Akin. "It gets to the point that you do two or three and you see, ‘Hey I’m actually making a difference in someone’s life,’ and you want to do more."
They call themselves the Bag Ladies. Patty Arnold says they met as a group for the first time in January 2015 at Second Baptist Church in Union City, Tennessee. Since then, she says they group has doubled in size.
"It’s wonderful that it’s growing, that others what to help all these people," says Arnold.
Arnold says the mats aren’t that hard to make; they just take a lot of time. She says they cut the bags into strips, tie the strips together, roll them into a ball and crochet the plastic like it’s yarn. Arnold says it takes 600 to 700 plastic bags to make one 3 foot by 6 foot mat.
So far this year, Akin says the Bag Ladies have made 88 mats, which means they’ve recycled more than 52,000 plastic bags.
"This is not young ladies doing this," says Akin. "This is older ladies with arthritis. And believe me, I have it. It hurts."
Akin says it doesn’t stop them, the Bag Ladies can work through the pain, especially if it’s for a good cause.
You can be a Bag Lady too. The group meets from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. every Thursday at Second Baptist Church in Union City, right across from the Discovery Park of America. They’re also accepting donations of plastic bags.
Contact the Bag Ladies by emailing Second Baptist Church at firstname.lastname@example.org.