Indianapolis, IN – Wednesday, Nov 1st – Things should be a little more comfortable this winter for the homeless population of Louisville, KY and Tyler, TX.
Integrity One, an Indianapolis based technology firm worked to organize associates and community members during the month of August to support the #IOTBagsOfHope drive. This community initiative worked to collect discarded plastic bags to be woven into sleeping mats for those displaced in the Derby City.
“Initially the program was developed in conjunction with a Kentucky partner to raise awareness and collect supplies but soon the community rallied together and our initial partner was too overwhelmed to take all the donations. This led us to our sister company Denitech’s backyard.” Chelsea Ligoncain the Marketing Manager of Integrity One noted. “We are thankful to Mrs. Ferna Mills of Southern Oaks Baptist Church who heard about our program and quickly rallied her community to jump onboard and take the final donations.”
In total, #IOTBagsOfHope collected over 25,000 bags in just 31 days. The bags are currently being processed and woven into sets which includes a 3x6’ sleeping mat, pillow and carrying strap. Once finished, the sets will be delivered to the homeless in Tyler, Texas.
“We are excited to get our community to come together in a joint effort to help the homeless.” Mrs. Mills remarked Monday. “This [effort] includes young and old, crafty or not. We already have 90-year-olds crocheting mats, and 12-year-olds crocheting pillows. Some of our schools require a certain number of community service hours from their students per semester. This is a great project for them. It really takes a community to help the homeless and it takes many hands to make a mat. Everyone can do something and even when one does a little, it helps a LOT.”
“We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish with #IOTBagsOfHope. Not only were we able to help those in need, but also keep a lot of plastic out of our landfills. We are proud that our teams got so into the program that they started recruiting their neighbors, local grocery stores and churches. I really think this speaks to the kind of character our people have, here at Integrity One.” Sam Castiglione, President of Integrity One Technologies remarked in a statement Monday. “It’s great to see this kind of support for something so selfless and important.”
Overall, 310 pounds of bags were collected and donated to Southern Oaks Baptist Church. Additionally, an ice cream social was hosted by Integrity One on October 13th to celebrate the winning team’s dedication to the cause.
The church’s Caring Hearts and Helping Hands Group will be hosting a community workshop on December 2nd from 1-5 p.m. “The goal is to increase community awareness, to encourage other groups and organizations to commit to this community effort, and to encourage more volunteers to participate.” Ferna notes. Attendees will also hear guest speakers who minister to the homeless as well as receive hands-on lessons on how top process and create the mats. Refreshments and door prizes will also be provided.