Daisy Mountain Veterans volunteers creating sleeping mats for the homeless
NORTH VALLEY – A place to lay your head – it’s one of the most basic human needs there is. For people who are living on the streets, this need becomes incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to fill, and simple comforts like blankets and sleeping mats are hard to come by.
The Daisy Mountain Veterans volunteers want to help. Volunteers are crocheting easily portable, cleanable sleeping mats from plastic bags and giving them out to those who are living on the streets.
Daisy Mountain Veterans volunteer Mary Ann Derryberry reported that the volunteers have been making sleeping mats for about a month now. The project was started when a local resident told volunteers about a Laveen group making sleeping mats for the homeless.
“I thought they were a terrific idea,” Derryberry said. “I thought, ‘We can get this going up here.’”
Derryberry noted that she asked someone who had been in this situation about the sleeping mats project, and that person told her it would “absolutely be a good thing” to do.
“We’re going to give them to whomever we can find,” said Derryberry. Some volunteers will carry mats in their cars to give to those in need. The veterans group is also in contact with the St. Rose Church food pantry and will be providing sleeping mats for them to give out.
“It’s a nice way for those who want to help and just don’t know how,” Derryberry said. “For a truly homeless person, it would be very appreciated.”
Creating the mats from plastic bags takes several steps, including cutting the bags into strips, chaining the strips together and rolling them into a ball, and then crocheting the strips into the final product.
Derryberry noted that she doesn’t crochet, but multiple other volunteers do. Right now, the group’s biggest need is for help in cutting and chaining the bags.
“There are several steps that people could do,” she said. “People don’t have to know how to crochet to help.”
The majority of the work on the mats is done at volunteers’ home; a group meeting is held monthly to facilitate the process.
It takes between 500 and 700 bags to make one mat, so another necessity for the project is space to store the bags. Garage space or backroom storage at an office to store the bags is greatly needed, so if you’d like to help out but don’t have much time to do so, offering storage space would be beneficial.
If you would like to help in creating these sleeping mats, contact Derryberry at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the next meeting on May 19, 6:30 p.m., at the Anthem Civic Building.
“Anybody can email me, and I can show them exactly how to do it,” Derryberry offered.
To find out more about the volunteer projects of the Daisy Mountain Veterans, see www.facebook.com/DaisyMountainVeterans.