Tysons, VA

Local students wanted to tackle a service project that would use disposable items, so they decided to make mats from plastic bags for veterans who are homeless.

Students in Sheryl Jones’ class at Kilmer Middle School (8100 Wolftrap Road) made the mats from donated plastic grocery bags, according to a press release from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

“The students really took [the idea] and then ran with it,” Jones, an 8th-grade science teacher, said in an FCPS video. “They watched YouTube videos to learn how to do it and then they created their own assembly line and system.”

The students said in the video that the insulated and waterproof mats are easy for veterans who are homeless to transport.

Each mat, which was roughly 6 feet by 3.5. feet, required about 700-800 bags and six to eight hours to weave. The students split up the duties, directing some to cut off the handles, while others wove the mats.

“Some of the Kilmer students even took the mats home to continue working on them,” according to the press release.

The students gave the mats to Homeless Hope, a nonprofit that provides clothing and supplies to people who are homeless in D.C., the press release said.

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