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Homeless are helped through recycling effort

March 29, 2014
The Herald-Star
Dottie O’Neil, center, organized a group of Steubenville home-schooled children and volunteers she recruited on Facebook to help recycle plastic grocery bags into sleeping mats for the homeless. It takes 500 bags to make one mat. The bags are cut up and crocheted into 2.5-by-6-foot mats, complete with sling handles, that help protect someone from the elements or just provide them padding for a softer spot to sit or lay. “Some people don’t want to stay in an establishment like this. So this is just a way to help comfort them when they leave here,” O’Neil said. She credited Molly McGovern of the Friendship Room for spurring her to action. “I’ve seen real change happen here. Molly has been able to find people jobs and homes. Seeing that inspired me to do something,” O’Neil said. The group will continue meeting at the Friendship Room Center of Hope, formerly the Warming Center, at the corner of Market and Fourth streets from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. Volunteers or anyone who would like to donate plastic bags is welcome to stop by during those hours. Crochet enthusiasts in particular are encouraged to bring their size 15 needles, O’Neil said. -- Shae Dalrymple

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