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Volunteers sew sleeping bags for the homeless: ‘A group of people coming together can make a difference’

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jan 18, 2020

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Volunteers at Southside Regional Medical Center spent their Saturday giving back to the community.

The group used medical materials that would otherwise be discarded to create sleeping bags to help the homeless.

"Were sewing together sterile wraps that we use for sterilization for instruments," Kathleen Ware, the hospital’s administrative director of nursing operations, said.

The group first learned of the sleeping bags idea from a hospital in California.

“It keeps people warm in the cold," Ware said. "It also keeps these out of landfills."

Volunteers create sleeping bags.

Volunteers create sleeping bags.

Ware said that the group first met in November and created 53 sleeping bags, which were donated to the CARES emergency shelter in Petersburg.

"They have already used them all and are requesting more," Ware said.

Volunteers estimated that the group could make up to 60 sleeping bags Saturday thanks to the 15 to 20 volunteers and eight sewing machines.

"It doesn't take much effort, but a group of people coming together can make a difference and make an impact," Ware said.

Ware said it feels good to give back.

"We're warm at night and while we can't fix everything, this is something that gives us a little bit that we can do to keep people warm," Ware said.

WTVR CBS 6 Photojournalist Janelle Pierangelino created the above video report.