7Everyday Hero Ursula Allgeier helps the homeless and the environment

Helping Hands group makes mats for the homeless
Posted at 8:27 AM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 10:31:08-04

LITTLETON, Colo — Helping the landfill by helping the homeless — it may sound like an odd combination, but 7Everyday Hero Ursula Allgeier makes it happen. 

"We call ourselves the Helping Hand," Allgeier said. 

Allegier leads the group at Concordia on the Lake Senior Community in Littleton. 

"Just because we're in here doesn't mean we can't contribute," Allgeier said. 

The 15 or so ladies with Helping Hands crochet sleeping mats for the homeless. The mats are made from used plastic shopping bags. 

"We create ridges. And that's what makes them twice as cushy," Allgeier said. 

"They spend hours in their own apartments cutting the things, putting the strings together and then crocheting. They don't just meet this four hours," said Risa Noe with Concordia. 

The Helping Hands members cut every bag into strips, and then loop the strands together to make a long string of plastic. 

"It takes like 50 stitches on every row," Allgeier said. 

Just one mat keeps hundreds of plastic bags out of the landfill. And a finished mat takes about 12 hours of labor. 

Then they're rolled up and given to agencies helping the homeless. 

"We took some of them to Jeffco Action Center. We took some of them down to the Denver Rescue Mission," Allgeier said. 

Ursula Allgeier says helping others is something you can do your whole life. 

"We just want to do good, you know?," she said.

Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.