Local program needs your old plastic bags to help the homeless community

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Wellness Center is turning trash into a safety net for local homeless people. The health clinic is up-cycling plastic bags and is asking for your help.

“We think it’s about 1,000 bags per mat,” said Dr. Kimberly Williams of the Rockford Wellness Center.

Your trash could be the Rockford Wellness Center’s treasure. They are asking for donations of plastic bags for the 5th annual ‘Project Love.’

The bags will eventually be weaved into sleeping mats to help the Forest City’s most vulnerable through some of the coldest months of the year.

“We need the Walmart or Woodman’s sized bags. They can be a little bit bigger, like Kohl’s and that. We’ll use all of those. So you can bring those in and donate them anytime,” Dr. Williams explained.

From now until the end of February, workers will construct the mats which will then be donated to Carpenter’s Place daytime shelter.

“They have great programs in place. They work well in getting these out into the appropriate hands. So as far as I know, it’s something that’s hugely needed,” Dr. Williams said.

Organizers say that community members are key to making the project a success.

“We need people to come in and spend their time. We have a big enough room here to take care of social distancing and those issues. We need people willing to come in, cut plastic bags, weave them, and we’ll walk them through everything they need to do when they come here,” she added.

Dr. Williams says you don’t need to be crafty to contribute.

“It’s very simple, we’ve streamlined it,” Dr. Williams said. “It’s something that even small children can do. We’ve had five, six, [and] seven-year-olds working on this. So, it’s definitely not anything that you need a skill set for.”

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