Hutchinson woman receives Helping Hand for using plastic bags to crochet beds for homeless

Published: Oct. 16, 2018 at 10:02 AM CDT
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For hundreds of Kansas who are homeless, finding a comfortable place to sleep can be difficult. Seeing that difficulty is why an 88 year old woman who's losing her vision decided to make it her mission to make them a place to sleep.

We first met Pat Thompson in July as she crocheted sleeping mats out of plastic grocery bags and gave them to

in Hutchinson. At that time she was making her 111th bed in 16 months.

Wanting to recognize everything she's doing, we worked with First Call Executive Director Marilyn Graham to surprise Thompson.

Graham got her to the building for a tour. That's where I met her for the first time.

Despite her failing eyesight, Thompson says it takes her about two days to crochet a mat. That's not including all the time it takes to get the plastic bags cut and usable.

"Well Pat, we wanted to surprise you today with a Helping Hand. Eyewitness News and DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers wanted to give you $1,200 for all the work you've been doing," said Scott Evans.

"Oh my goodness. I don't deserve," said Thompson. It's that humility that caught our attention. "You're going to make me cry."

She started because she was looking for something to do that would help somebody else.

"I just feel so much for these people, and I care about them and it's about all I can do for them," said Thompson.

By the time she and her daughter Amy Mitchell met with Dustin DeVaughn and Richard James she had made 130 mats and used upwards of 78-thousand plastic bags. Each bag comes with note telling them they're loved.

"Pat, we're honored to present you with a check for a Helping Hand for all the great work that you're doing to help the homeless. Well thank. I feel it's an honor to receive this and I feel it's an honor to help these people," said James.

To see other people and organizations who won a Helping Hand, click


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