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Colorado Springs 'plarns' it to help the homeless

January 30, 2017 Updated: January 30, 2017 at 9:19 pm
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photo - Corpus Christi Catholic School students, left to right, Linkin Williamson, Reagan Homec and Gwyn Gustafson joined about 200 of their classmates Monday, January 30, 2017 converting plastic grocery bags into a form that will be used to make sleeping mats for the homeless. First grade teacher Barb Maloney said the "plarn" (plastic yarn) will be sent to a county in Georgia that has a high number of homeless. She said it takes about 600 bags to make one sleeping mat. This week is Catholic Schools Week and Corpus Christi students are taking part in several service projects. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Corpus Christi Catholic School students, left to right, Linkin Williamson, Reagan Homec and Gwyn Gustafson joined about 200 of their classmates Monday, January 30, 2017 converting plastic grocery bags into a form that will be used to make sleeping mats for the homeless. First grade teacher Barb Maloney said the "plarn" (plastic yarn) will be sent to a county in Georgia that has a high number of homeless. She said it takes about 600 bags to make one sleeping mat. This week is Catholic Schools Week and Corpus Christi students are taking part in several service projects. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

Children at the Corpus Christi Catholic School in Colorado Springs are on a mission to "Plarn" to help homeless people. On Monday, more than 200 kindergarten through eighth-grade students began the arduous task of turning discarded plastic bags similar to those from a store into yarn-like balls to be crocheted into 3- by 5-foot mats for homeless people. A light bulb went off over the head of Corpus Christi Catholic School first-grade teacher Barb Maloney to come up with this all-school service project on this Catholics Schools Week.

Maloney recently was driving in Georgia with her son and saw a multitude of homeless people. "It broke my heart to see this in our nation," she said. "I want everyone to know that they can make a difference, whatever their age, they can do something to help." She contacted a church in Georgia whose members agreed to make the mats.

Corpus Christi Catholic School students were busy in the gymnasium, huddled together to complete a seven- to eight-step process, which includes folding, cutting and tying together the collected recycled bags and turn them into balls of plarn.

Service projects are done during Catholic Schools Week, but this is the first all-school service project for Corpus Christi Catholic School. It takes 600 balls of plarn to make one mat. The children will work through mid-February to get the plarn together and send their finished project to Georgia to be turned into mats for homeless people.

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