In partnership with the Richland Correctional Institution (RiCI), Richland Source is serving as a donation site for the “Mats for Displaced” project.

This project involves offenders in the RiCI’s Reintegration Program who fashion waterproof and insulating mats from ordinary plastic shopping bags as a way of giving back to the community

Each mat takes about 20 hours and 600 plastic bags each to assemble. The mats are crocheted using hands instead of crochet hooks, and bags can be fashioned into a handle for easy carrying.

“We get the best of three worlds here: We give back to our restorative justice - for the wrong that we did we try give back to society with the mats. We also are recycling, and helping out the homeless, people less fortunate than we are,” stated Roger Stewart, inmate of RiCI and participant in the facility’s Reintegration Program.

Mats have been distributed to Franklin County as well as the Toledo area. “Wherever there’s need. We’re hoping to give back to Richland County,” said Jennifer Gillece, RiCI Correctional Wardens Assistant.

Community donations of plastic shopping bags, as well as other supplies like yarn, crayons, markers, fabric, ribbons or thread, may be dropped off at the Richland Source office, located at 21 E Temple Court, during operation hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

Donations of supplies may also be dropped off at the front entry of RiCI at 1001 Olivesburg Road. 

I'm a native of Mansfield. In 2010, I graduated from Ontario High School and then attended OSU-Mansfield, where I majored in English. I'm glad to be able to use my degree in a field that I enjoy.