Woodland Park Library’s Portable Sleeping Mat Service Project a True Community Effort

Woodland Park Library’s Portable Sleeping Mat Service Project a True Community Effort

The Alfred H. Baumann Free Public Library, in partnership with Mayor Keith Kazmark, Passaic County Senior Services, Passaic Valley High School (PVHS) and the Woodland Park School District, has wrapped up its Dream Mats community service project, aimed at providing persons experiencing homelessness with portable sleeping mats to help protect them from the elements and serve as a cushion on hard surfaces.
Dream Mats are made by crocheting “plarn” – yarn made from recyclable plastic bags.  The library hosted a day of service on Feb. 14, where nearly 70 people of all ages stopped by during the course of the day to work on the project.
Prior to this, students at all three district public schools and PVHS pitched in by collecting, sorting, flattening, cutting the bags and looping strips together. Elementary and middle school students worked on the project in their art classes. At PVHS, there were 76 participants, which included 61 students, staff members and parents that worked on looping and crocheting strips. At the event on Feb. 14, participants created and completed four mats and another 10 are near completion.
“What I thought that was really awesome about this project is that it truly was intergenerational,” Library Director Linda Hoffman said, noting the number of kids learning to crochet from adults of all ages. “Overall, it was a huge success, and it also brought awareness to the plight of homelessness.”
Going forth, the library hopes that individuals and groups will continue to create Dream Mats. Any completed mats can be brought to the Library, which will get them to the County’s Human Services department. The Library has mat creation instructions on its
website at www.abwplibrary.org.

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