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Powell high schooler upcycling plastic bags for homeless

A Powell teen used her time and social media to help for others.
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:25 PM EST
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POWELL, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Powell teen used her time and social media to help others.

“It started out as such a small project, like I thought it was going to be a one-man job and I could handle it,” said Teagan Stanford.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Teagan Stanford, 17, called herself an old soul.

“The bigger the needle the easier it is to handle bigger yarn and the easier it is to make bigger stitches to get done quicker,” explained Stanford.

The Powell High School junior learned how to handcraft items from her grandma.

Stanford said, “I would just sit down in her den and knit and crochet all day.”

It’s a hobby that’s grown over the years. She saw a post on social media about “plarn,” plastic yarn made from plastic bags like the ones at grocery stores. She also noticed there’s a homeless population in Knox County.

“I made a post on my social media whenever I posted it and I said this is a necessity,” explained Stanford, “Notice how I didn’t say a luxury. We lay in our beds every night, and we take for granted how comfortable it is when people are sleeping on the sidewalk, under bridges.”

She shared to a Facebook group her need for plastic bags and more than 100 people met her request.

“I most definitely have over 1,000 bags just sitting in the foyer of my house.”

The bags were ready to be crocheted into blankets and mats for the homeless.

“They last a long time, they’re easy to carry, they retain heat, and they don’t retain water like a normal blanket.”

Stanford said helping others has always been a passion of hers.

“I love giving back. It makes me so happy.”

She’s making a difference.

“Sometimes we take for granted how much a little bit of happiness can mean to somebody,” said Stanford.

She’s meeting a group of students on Wednesday who will help craft the blankets and mats.

If you are looking to drop off plastic bags you can do so at 7311 Clinton Highway.

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