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Maisons Help the Homeless

Students repurpose plastic bags into mats for the homeless.

Junior+Kelsey+Wilcoxson+laughs+as+she+ties+two+plastic+bag+strips+together+to+be+rolled+up+into+a+ball.
Junior Kelsey Wilcoxson laughs as she ties two plastic bag strips together to be rolled up into a ball.

Junior Kelsey Wilcoxson laughs as she ties two plastic bag strips together to be rolled up into a ball.

Olivia Dopheide

Olivia Dopheide

Junior Kelsey Wilcoxson laughs as she ties two plastic bag strips together to be rolled up into a ball.

Dani Rotert, Breaking News

Students helped create ‘plarn’ that will eventually create plastic mats for the homeless during maison time Nov. 2. General plastic bags were cut into strips, which were all tied together, then rolled into a ball of ‘plastic yarn’ that will be used for crocheting the mats. The director of music ministry of St. Joseph’s Parish, Dr. Barbara Leyden, showed students how to do this in a video.

Each student was asked to bring 10 plastic bags to their maisons  in order to contribute for the service project. The mats will be waterproof, light to carry, cheaper than a normal sleeping bag and a way to recycle plastic bags instead of just throwing them away. 

After learning how to crochet the mats from the plastic bags from Dr. Leyden over the summer, Mulkey wanted to help out with the large amount of prep work that the women of St. Joesph’s had to do before the actual crocheting of the plastic mats.

“I don’t know how to crochet at all,” visual and performing arts teacher Elizabeth Mulkey said. “So, I thought I could organize the prep work and save [the crocheters] hours and hours.”

The balls of plastic yarn that were made by the students will go to St. Joseph’s Parish in Shawnee Mission. There, women from the parish will crochet the plastic into mats and they will be distributed to homeless people from all around the Kansas City area.

“I loved being able to do something productive in maisons,” sophomore Madison Rogers said. “I know that our service is going towards a really good cause.”

 The plastic “yarn” that the students made will be used to make five or six mats, according to Mulkey.

“I really enjoy doing service projects during maisons because it’s a great way to bond and give back to the less fortunate,” sophomore Maya Bair said. “I hope we can continue doing service like this for the rest of the school year.”

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