Couple crochets plastic bags to make mats for homeless

Updated: Feb. 23, 2020 at 5:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s something we all have a stash of in our house—plastic bags. Now, one Sierra Vista couple is using this unlikely material to help the homeless.

“First thing we do is flatten out the bag,” said Douglas Crouch, who is making “plarn,” or plastic ­yarn.

He takes plastic bags and folds, cuts and ropes them into large balls for his wife, Adele Crouch to crochet.

“It’s really pretty simple. It’s just a single crochet stitch,” said Adele.

One loop and plarn ball at a time, they work together to make mats for the homeless. The plastic serves as a great insulator and barrier to the cold ground. It takes about 100 hours to make one mat.

“Three hours is about my max because after a while your hands start to get sore,” said Adele,

When it’s all said and done—it will be 3 ½ feet wide, 5 feet long and weigh 5 pounds. It takes about 14 plarn balls made of about 50 bags each to make a mat.

“It’s just a long process that’s all,” said Adele. “My saying is ‘be nice to someone for no reason.’”

The couple has a special place in their hearts for the homeless, being in a similar situation years ago.

The cold is a fear this couple knows well, having lost everything before.

“We were homeless once when our house burned,” Adele said. “It was pretty scary.”

Now, they’re helping others get back on their feet with a warm start. Adele makes beanies and scarves too—a passion that costs nothing for her, but time and gives everything to a stranger. Most of the yarn and bags she uses are donated from the community.

The two have finished one mat so far but hope to donate about 10 this fall before the weather cools off again.

If you’d like to donate plastic bags to help their project, Adele asks you send her a message on Facebook.

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