FORSYTH, Ga. — Gwen Lunsford preps a plastic bag to be cut into pieces; transforming the scraps into an unusual piece of yarn.
The scraps are folded, cut, and tied into knots. Then later crocheted into sleeping mats. As the women crotchet, they think about people without a place to sleep.
"When a mother said, 'now my 10-year-old won't have to sleep on the ground, and that just brought me to tears," said Lunsford.
Lunsford saw the idea in a magazine, then brought the project proposal to fellowship members at First Baptist Church in Forsyth.
"When you give of yourself to somebody else, you feel like you're really doing what God has called you to do," Lunsford said.
Each blanket is roughly 100 hours of work. The group takes 500 to 700 plastic bags, weaving their fingers until a full-sized mat is formed.
"By using plastic, if the ground is wet, this does not soak up any wetness, and they can still be dry," said Lunsford.
Church members from ages eight to almost 90 years old offer their hands to make blankets, in order to give the homeless somewhere to sleep, while recycling.
"They can become waste or thrown away or just really build up in your home, and people don't really have a use for them other than maybe your bathroom trash bag," Angelica Butler said.
The church group gave the plastic a new purpose.
"Just knowing that we could use it instead of going out and buying yarn, and just re-purposing something for someone who really needed something," said Butler.
Together they're finding a unique way to not only help keep the community clean, but also provide a warm place to sleep for people living on the streets.
Once several blankets are completed, the church plans to partner with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office to help distribute them to the homeless.