chemeketa students

Salem Sleeping Bag Project branch opens at Chemeketa

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

One man’s trash is another man’s dignity.

That’s the concept behind the Salem Sleeping Bag Project, the local faction backing the national movement to make simple sleeping bags and mats from recycled fabrics and distribute them free to people who need them.

The newest branch opened this March at Chemeketa’s Salem campus and has ambitiously dived into processing thousands of plastics bags into plarn, or plastic yarn.

Student organizer, Eric Duvall-Winscher has been participating in the Salem Sleeping Bag Project for more than two years. “It started as a spring break activity at a DIY crocheting studio. I fell in love and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Chemeketa’s branch is seeking a steady group of volunteers to process all current donations so the college can transition to a full service branch, taking on crocheting mats and handing them out to people in need.

“Because of the amount of extra bags we process, we will quickly back up the Salem Branch,” says Eric. “It is important for us to be able to process bags from donations to handing out actual sleeping mats.”

How you can help

  • Five volunteers each week to make plarn from bag donations
  • Additional bag donations once all the current bags are processed
    • It takes 800-900 bags to make one mat

“We’re helping the homeless and the environment at the same time,” says Eric. “We don’t care why they are homeless, but we hope this one act of kindness can change their life.”

Salem Sleeping Bag Project
Meets Thursdays from 6-8 pm
Bldg. 2, Student Center (Salem)

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