The Sun City Agua Fria National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter Registrar presented Jody Swank with the NSDAR Community Service Award. Chapter Regent Twila Lobitz also presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
Swank earned this award for her community service for conservation and for making the homeless more comfortable. She learned how to make plarn (plastic yarn), which is created by looping cut plastic bags into a continuous piece and crocheting them into sleeping mats. Approximately 170 plastic bags are used to produce one sleeping mat, which keeps the bags out of the landfills.
She began her community service in 2019 by forming and leading the Caring Angels group of seven women by teaching them how to make the plarn balls and mats. The group has grown to about 26, meeting at the Sun City Unity Church.
Through donations, the Caring Angels put the mats in backpacks, which are also filled with snacks, personal care items, socks, masks and two bottles of water. The group has created more than 67 sleeping mats and distributed them to the American Legion Post 62, Phoenix Rescue Mission, the Phoenix VA and other organizations, which can be distributed to individual homeless people, many whom are veterans.
Swank also presents a program to local groups, including the Agua Fria Chapter’s November 2020 virtual monthly meeting, to educate people on the impact of plastic bags in the environment and to demonstrate the process of creating the plarn balls and mats. A few chapter members are now involved with making the plarn balls and/or mats.
If anyone or any organization is interested in helping with making the plarn balls and/or mats or making donations for the backpacks, contact Swank at email@example.com or Chapter Chaplain Patricia Alicki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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