Holy Rosary students collect bags to make sleeping mats for homeless

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Edmonds-based Holy Rosary School’s 7th grade class held a plastic bag drive this month to donate bags to Sonia Gilman, an Edmonds resident who started a local group that weaves the bags into waterproof sleeping mats for the homeless.

Gilman said she “was blown away” by the students’ generosity, noting they collected over 5,000 plastic bags. “The kids’ curiosity with our project was evident and exciting,” she added. “Several of them asked questions and wanted to know, ‘How many bags does it take to make a mat’ (about 700), ‘How big are the mats’ (3 feet x 6 feet), and ‘How long do they last’ (more than a year but hard to track this info).

For those who want to help, the mat-making group meets every other weekend at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. “We are looking for a place with a long table where we can gather more often and leave the supplies there, so if anyone wants to put in more hours can easily go there and continue with the project,” Gilman said.

You can find the group on Facebook as Mats from Bags.

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