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Local woman repurposes plastic grocery bags and crochets them into mats for the homeless

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 13:33:34-05

Do you have a cupboard full of plastic grocery bags you end up throwing away? One woman in the Coastal Bend is collecting them and turning them into mats for the homeless.

Ann Kolasinski moved to the Corpus Christi four years ago from Phoenix, Arizona. She said while she's at home taking care of her husband full-time, she reuses plastic grocery bags and crochets them into mats for the homeless.

"I always knew how to crochet, I understand the directions it's so simple," she said. "It's just single crochet all the way."

Crochet is a handicraft where yarn, typically, is woven into a patterned textile by looping the yarn with a hook needle.

In this case, she uses plastic bags instead of yarn, which sounds like a lengthy process. So how long does it take her to finish a mat using plastic bags?

"Well, from start to finish — If I am doing it all day, I could do one in a day, easy," she said.

Usually, she said, it takes her two evenings. Kolasinski 'strings' the bags together to make a 'yarn,' which she balls up and crochets into mats.

"What I usually do first is I get two or three big balls made first, because that's the longest time-consuming part of making them," she said.

She uses everything but the bag handles to make her mats, but no part of the bag goes to waste.

"Then I take all the handles from the bags that I cut up, and stuff them into a regular bag and then I stuff them to make a pillow," she said.

Kolasinski said it takes anywhere from 500 to 600 bags to make a mat, and she makes them in all different sizes; for short or tall people.

"When anybody gives me bags, its like Christmas," she said.

Once she makes a couple of mats, she drives them to Mother Teresa shelter for the homeless.

"I think that it's a great thing that she (does) because actually the plastic is a little bit warm," said the shelter's operations supervisor Sr. Rency Moonjely. "That they can reuse it."

Kolasinski said she grew up not having much herself.

"Think of it as your child out there, you know — whether you agree with his lifestyle or not, but he needs help," she said.

To help Kolasinski with making the mats or donate your plastic bags email her at: