The group of volunteers from Somersett outside City Council Chambers after the presentation.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve was so moved by a Somersett-based group’s presentation about their work making sleeping mats for the homeless that she called for a round of applause at a recent meeting (July 24) of the Reno City Council and Redevelopment Agency Board.

The project organizer, Diane Williams, told lawmakers that each mat, fashioned from about 700 plastic bags, takes about 40 hours to make. The volunteers have fashioned 88 mats so far, which translates to over 3,500 hours of work and over 66,000 plastic bags that did not end up in a landfill. The group – about 60 volunteers in total –  has been crocheting the mats every week since February at The Club at Town Center and more recently at Aspen Lodge. Their current goal is to have 100 mats to present to veterans in need at the Homeless Veterans Stand Down on September 20 in Reno.

“That is incredible,’’ the mayor said as she touched a mat Diane held up to her.

About 10 volunteers accompanied Diane and each held a colorful mat to show to the lawmakers.

“Thank you for giving back to the community,” Mayor Schieve told the volunteers. “(Government) cannot do this alone. We absolutely need you.’’

 “This is who we are as a community in Reno,’’ the mayor added, saying that those who are less fortunate “really need someone to care.’’

Watch for yourself

View Diane’s presentation to the Council here (skip to 39:52).

How you can help

Donate plastic grocery bags

Drop off at the front desk at The Club at Town Center or Aspen Lodge.

Help assemble the mats – no experience necessary!

  • The Club at Town Center: Fridays from 9:45 am-noon
  • Aspen Lodge: Mondays from 12:45-3 pm   

2 thoughts on “Somersett volunteers draw applause at City Council meeting”

  1. Been looking for a time volunteering opportunity and way to meet some ladies since we moved here in April. What a great project! See you Friday!!

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