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Surgical Team Volunteers Make Sleeping Bags out of Surgical Mats To Provide Comfort for the Homeless

Southside Regional Medical Center Volunteers
Caption: Southside Regional Medical Center Volunteers. (Photo: Kristy Fowler)

Discarded surgical mats from Southside Regional Medical  Center will help to warm and comfort homeless people in Petersburg, thanks to an inspired idea and a weekend of work from volunteer medical personnel.  Charles Fishburne reports.


Charles Fishburne:  They were busy sorting, sewing and stacking Saturday.

Kathe Ware:   We’re sewing together sterile wraps and turning them into sleeping bags.

Fishburne:  Kathe Ware, Administrative Director Surgical Services at Southside Regional Medical Center

Ware :  They are wraps that are typically used to wrap instruments for sterilization.  They are used once and they have to be discarded.  They never come in contact with anything that is soiled. It keeps them out of the landfills and provides some warmth.

Amanda Dyer:  These things last forever and they are super warm.

Fishburne:  Amanda Dyer is one of the surgical team members donating her time.

Fishburne:  Andy Staples is another.

Staples:  My roots are here in this area and it’s very important for me to reach out back out and take care of the community that has taken care of me my entire life.

Fishburne:  The finished sleeping bags will be donated to Cares Incorporated, a shelter in Petersburg.

Shari Boisclair:  It makes me feel good.

Charles Fishburne, VPM News.