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Group hands out sleeping mats for those in need

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jan 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-08 23:30:46-05

They went from ordinary plastic bags, to beds for someone in need. Rolled up for people, like Clifford Johnson, who was homeless not too long ago, sleeping by a bus station.

"To me it means everything," said Johnson. "It means that someone took the time enough to crochet this thing together."

That someone: Buffalo's Good Neighbors. They've been crocheting away for four months now, little by little, stitch by stitch.

"On average those mats easily take 25 to 30 hours if not more to crochet," said Gail Potter, Project Coordinator for Mats for a Mission. "Working with that plastic is very hard."

As the song says, 'baby it's cold outside'. That's why this group, which met weekly, made mats their mission. Something Johnson couldn't be more thankful for.

"They took the time to hand wove this thing together. I'm grateful for it," said Johnson.

The car the group brought the mats in was full, with 33 sleeping mats. It's a number that exceeded their expectations.

"Far exceeded our expectation of twenty," said Potter. "It's that little buffer that's just going to help them with the wet, cold ground."

To Johnson, it's more than help. It's a portable durable bed, and warmth during these bitter winter nights.

"It's cold! It's callous," said Johnson. "Thank God for caring people who line their cars up and come out. Who are faithful. Thank God!"

The group continues to hang up warm items on Sundays, from gloves, to hats, to scarves. 

"They have nothing, they really don't," said Potter.

But Sunday morning at Fireman's Park was just the cherry on top of a good deed.