Crocheters, donations needed to turn bags into mats for the homeless

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  Last winter we told you about an Operation Green Team effort to repurpose plastic grocery bags to help those braving all of Mother Nature's seasons: the homeless.

Now that temperatures dip, the effort is ramping back up.

"These are easy to do you can stay at home, everybody has got plastic bags," said Operation Green Team Director Joy McKee. "You can help either by bringing us bags or making the plan that makes these bags or by crocheting, we really need the crocheters."

It helps reuse the bags, which is great for the environment while providing comfort and warmth for the homeless.

Hundreds of bags have been distributed, both through homeless advocacy center First Stop and to homeless camps directly. But the need is still there.

"We don't know what January and February are going bring but it might be really, really cold and if so they're going to need these," said McKee.

Bags and hats have also been crafted by the reused bags, even kindergarten mats for daycares who may not have them. Meanwhile, McKee and her team spread the green effort to other communities.

"We had a lady come from Florida," explained McKee. "She wanted to come down and learn first hand and take it back to her school. We've had a prison out of Texas call us and now they're doing the same thing."

At least 700 bags are needed to create one mat, keeping them out of landfills and keeping the homeless off the cold ground. If you have bags to donate you can take them to Huntsville City Hall, located at 308 Fountain Circle downtown.

Operation Green Team is even organizing a crocheting class for anyone interesting in helping their efforts.

To learn more about Operation Green Team, call 256-532-5326 or go to Huntsvilleal.gov/greenteam.