Community Outreach Club
By Gabriela Garcia, Activities Director
A volunteer visited and shared a wonderful idea that could be good for our Home: mats for the homeless made with “plarn.”
Plarn is plastic yarn made with plastic shopping bags. Each mat is made with approximately 500-700 bags. I thought this would be an excellent way to engage our Residents in our Community Outreach Club. Many of them really want to make something for the community, which we did in the past. But working with this idea would give us a consistent activity throughout the month where Residents can help at their own pace.
This is an excellent project to work on since it helps in different areas:
1. As a recycling program (500+ plastic bags for each mat is great!)
2. Wonderful sense of “purpose” in each of our Residents that are helping with this project.
3. Since it takes different steps to do, everybody can have an opportunity to help. Lower mobility residents can help with “unwrinkling” the bags, others can “flatten” them, another can fold each bag or a bunch in halves to get them ready to cut the “ends.” After these steps, someone that can use the scissors or a rotary cutter can cut them in quarters, making each of them the “links” to have the “plarn.” Another resident, staff or volunteer can start crocheting. It is quite a process, which makes it really interesting and challenging, something that some of our Residents really like.
4. Starting March 2020, with will be a weekly activity so all levels of care can participate.
5. Will create a sense of community, since this involves everybody willing to be a part of it.
6. Reaching our goal of 1 mat per month will help to have at least 10 mats donated for the homeless at the end of 2020 (only 10 since we started this program in the middle of February), and repurposes 5,000 to 7,000 plastic bags!
Our activities department is very excited about this wonderful idea, and we hope to get many individuals involved and make the most out of this experience along with our Residents.