Volunteer for a Cause, Not for Applause

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Volunteer for a Cause, Not for Applause

Categories: Foster Grandparent Program, Humankind Stories, News

Our very own Foster Grandparent Volunteer Sande Gelet may have had off this summer, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t busy.

After weeks of working on a sleeping mat – she has completed her 4th mat for the Sleeping Mat Project. At Petra Community Housing, Sande has found quite the hobby in creating sleeping mats for the homeless.

Angels in Motion (AIM) consists of a diverse group of individuals who share the same passion and concern for their community and those suffering from addiction. After starting AIM in 2015, founder Carol Rostucher has since begun the Sleeping Mat Project to help the homeless suffering from the effects of the disease. This project collects new plastic bags from donated stores such as Wawa, Redners, Giant, Wegmans, and Walmart.

It takes about 600 bags to make a sleeping mat.

Sande normally makes her around 7ft if she can. The average sleeping mat size is around 6ft by 3ft, depending on the weight of the bags.

Each bag is cut into strips around 2-3 inches in size. The strips are connected or tied together, and then rolled into a large ball of plarn or plastic yarn. There are multiple ways to weave this plarn into a mat. Sande uses a wooden loom but she has seen others crochet or knit by hand.

The bags collected must be acceptable with no holes or rips. These imperfections could lead to the mat coming apart.

Sande first got involved through a friend, Pat Kambic. Pat had volunteered for the Sleeping Mat Project for years before introducing Sande to the program. The program makes more than just mats, they also make hats and scarves for those in need.

YWCA Tri-County Area is honored to have Sande as a volunteer for the Foster Grandparent Program for Montgomery County. Although she may have had a break for summer, she was still working hard helping others! We are so proud to know Sande.

To learn more about YW3CA’s Foster Grandparent Program, contact Ashley Faison at 610-323-1888 ext. 111 or afasion@ywcatricountyarea.org .

Sande and Pat Kambic