By Barbara Ruiter, Data Entry, WestCare Iowa/FAVA
When private donor, Jodi Eliason, stopped by the WestCare Iowa/Family Alliance for Veterans of America (FAVA) office, she was carrying a donation of 15 handmade mats woven out of plastic bags. She wanted to give the mats to us for the homeless Veterans to keep them warm this winter. We have a lot of Veterans who will not go to a shelter until we can find suitable housing for them. The mats will give them some warmth and dryness as they prevent the wetness from seeping through. She even added straps on them to carry them like a backpack. They are very lightweight. Staff will be able to store some in the FAVA vehicles to give out as needed until we can get the Veteran into housing.
The mats were each made from 70 plastic bags. Jodi shared that it takes about three weeks to complete one of them. As she made them, she thought that they really needed a handle so they could be easily carried. This does allow the Veteran to roll them back up into a nice little compact bundle.
Thank you, Jodi, for your creativity, hard work, and support of our Veterans. We appreciate your kindness so much!