NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - If you're thinking of throwing your plastic shopping bags away, think again.
William F. Laman Public Library is taking up a different type of donation in the form of plastic shopping bags. The library will take those plastic bags and turn them into sleeping mats for the homeless.
Executive Director Crystal Gates is hoping to get people out this weekend to an event that will teach them how to turn those plastic bags into something of value for the homeless.
“We definitely want to make as many as possible, but that takes more bags,” Gates said. "We want to offer programs that get the communities involved and gets them in social engagement.”
Gates wants people helping one another throughout the community and a part of that effort comes this weekend from a lot of people donating their leftover plastic bags. Right now, they have about 500 plastic shopping bags and that's only enough to make one sleeping mat.
So, if you're one of those people who saves their bags to recycle, you can take them to Laman Library this weekend for a good cause.
"That's all it takes is just one action to impact your community," Gates said. "That's what libraries do."
A 2016 study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development discovered close to 2,400 people are homeless in Arkansas and more than 800 of those people are living unsheltered. Now, Gates and her staff are looking to make a difference with help from plastic shopping bags.
"Even if all you do is bring bags and you don't come to the event, and you don't learn how to make the plarn, and you don't learn how to actually loop it together to make the mat,” Gates said. “You've still impacted and made a difference here just by bringing bags."
You can start now by dropping off those plastic shopping bags, and it doesn’t matter the size or color. This Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., you can help them with cutting and sorting all of the donated bags.