Get your “Craft for Humanity: Creativity with a Mission!” t-shirt HERE. All proceed augment the production of upcycled plastic (Plarn) into sleeping bags for Youngstown area families in need.

The trustees of Awesome Foundation Youngstown are proud to announce that local artist Kristina Nicholas is the winner of our inaugural $1,000 grant for her project submission “Craft for Humanity: Creativity with a Mission!”

As detailed in her submission, Kristina’s humanitarian and eco-friendly project seeks to teach people the art form of crochet by creating sleeping mats made of plarn, or upcycled (creative reuse) plastic shopping bags, and giving them to people in need. Each sleeping mat is expected to keep 500-700 plastic bags out of the landfill. Kristina will use her award money to purchase equipment such as scissors, crochet needles, and customized, 3D Printed crochet needles produced by local resources.

Kristina hopes that her project will “give access to children and adults of all ages to the art form of crocheting while also using creativity to provide sleeping mats to individuals and organizations that need help. This project would focus on involving city of Youngstown church groups, knitting and/or crochet groups, youth groups, nursing homes, Youngstown City School children, Youngstown State University students, and more.”
St. Vincent De Paul Society’s W Front Street location has agreed to be a drop-off site for plastic grocery bag donations and distribution site for the finished plarn sleeping mats by giving them to those in need. Kristina’s goal is to produce 1,000 plarn sleeping mats for Youngstown’s less fortunate.
For more information, please visit or or contact Kristina Nicholas (, RJ Thompson (, or Glenniece Bedo via e-mail ( or via phone at 330-333-3601.

Plastic bags can be delivered to St. Vincent De Paul Society located at 208 W Front St., Youngstown, Ohio 44503. Awesome Foundation Youngstown is fiscally sponsored by the Economic Action Group, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. If you are interested in donating financial resources, please contact