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Kids knitting blankets out of plastic bags
Hoosier Road Elementary Students Knit Plastic Bag Blankets for the Homeless

May 06, 2019

Last fall, in preparation for a school carnival, HRE’s vertical team got together to clean up the outside around the school grounds. Most of what the staff picked up were plastic trash bags.

As an inquiry question, they asked kids this question: “What could we do with a plastic bag outside of its original intended use.” And out of all the amazing ideas, one idea that sparked the most interest was to make them into a mat/blanket for the homeless. 

The kids spent some time doing research about plastic bag mat/blankets and read about people crocheting strips of plastic bags together.  They inevitably discovered a video about how important these blankets were to helping the homeless. 

Once they discovered that Mrs. Eichenauer (the building treasurer) could sew, they recruited a few other crocheting experts to help build mats to be donated to the Wheeler Mission. In support, Steve Germani, founder of the Wheeler Mission, came in and talked to the classes about homelessness and their mission.

Their research said it would take roughly 600 plastic bags to make one mat.  They set a goal to make 4 mats, total. They asked people on Facebook, families, and friends to donate their plastic bags to their cause. They ended up collecting around 3,000 bags PER CLASSROOM. 

Word spread about their mission through social media. They received support from a church group from Terre Haute who saw the post and 6 ladies from that church came to HRE to teach kids how to make these mats/blankets.  

This amazing project not only helped the environment but brought the community together to teach them about the importance of helping others and to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  
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