The Brown Bag Project collects plastic bags for charity


The Brown Bag project asks for student and staff help in their upcoming project; turning plastic bags into blankets to support the homeless. Starting in the fall semester of 2020, the Brown bag project has worked to collect essential items and donate them to the homeless population of Austin. Gathering the supplies they need mostly through donation, the drive visits areas with higher homeless populations and passes them out, helping the homeless with one bag at a time.

“The purpose of the drive is to collect toiletries and any other necessary items that someone who may be in a homeless situation,” club sponsor Mary Jeffery said. “It doesn’t even need to be someone who’s living strictly on the street. It could be like a student on campus who is going from home to home, the kind of thing where you need to brush your teeth, or you need socks, or deodorant; All those things that are just essential to collect.”

Currently, the group has begun a new project. Now collecting plastic bags, the club plans to turn the bags into quilts, handing them out once December hits. Each quilt is woven completely from plastic bags. Along with these quilts, the drive is also planning on using money from previous donations to buy even more blankets.

“Every blanket requires about 500 bags,” Co-Founder Joy Tando said. “It’s a lot of work. Right now we’re thinking we’ll have three by the end of the semester.”

The club was created last September, inspired by the quarantine and the conditions many homeless people find themselves in. A GoFundMe was created to support the club’s first care package, raising over $1,100 within a week. The club started small, with just six students and their parents, but has quickly grown. Last year, around 20 to 30 members joined the club, but that membership continues to expand.

“This year, our reminder has grown to 80 people,” Co-Founder Jocelyn Lee said. “We’ve almost doubled from last year. I’m glad for all their help.”

The plastic blankets will be dropped off in December, as the club’s winter care package. Donations for the drive can be dropped off at the front office, and also in Mrs. Jeffery’s room, room 1023. Students can join their reminder by texting @rrhsbbp to 81010 to receive information about meeting dates and future projects. 

“A lot of people were interested, and that’s why we decided to start it as a club,” Co-Founder Ester Yu said. “It’s grown a lot bigger than expected.”