Kilmer MS Students Make Plastic Bags Into Mats for Homeless Veterans
When a PAWS class at Kilmer Middle decided to give back to the community this year, they chose to do a service project as a group while giving a disposable item a new purpose. Sheryl Jones’ class learned about an attitude of gratitude, then decided to make mats for homeless veterans, providing them with a weatherproof barrier against the cold ground and trapping heat to provide some warmth. The students enlisted the Kilmer Middle community for donations of plastic grocery bags; each mat requires approximately 700-800 bags to make and takes a total of 6-8 hours each to weave. Some students are tasked with cutting off the handles and splitting the seams while others weave the 6’ by 3.5’ mats. Some of the Kilmer students even took the mats home to continue working on them. Jones also uses the project as an opportunity to discuss topics such as recycling plastic and the properties of insulation that plastic provides.
The finished mats were presented to Tucker Jones, who runs a nonprofit called Homeless Hope that provides clothing and supplies to homeless individuals living in Washington, D.C. Jones, who owns Ballston CrossFit and Cross Fit Route 7, took some time to talk with the Kilmer students about the services Homeless Hope provides and to thank them for making the mats.