Mount Mercy students turn sandbags into handbags

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The flood waters are gone. The sandbags are still here, thousands of them.

A group of Mount Mercy University students has decided to turn some of those bags into reusable handbags.

The students are part of the Mount Mercy chapter of Enactus, a nonprofit that teaches kids about entrepreneurship. The students are using the sandbag handbag transition as part of an annual project.

They've partnered with nonprofits which will take care of the stitching and the logo printing.

The hope is to save some of the bags from the landfill and give people a piece of history from the flood.

Derek Siddell, one of the group’s leaders, said students plan to create several thousand handbags by Christmas from the more than 250,000 flood sandbags made.

"Our goal is to get at least one percent of those bags turned into reusable bags,” said Siddell. “It would be about 2500 is the goal we would like to see."

It'll take some work to get sandbags ready for handbag manufacturing. So, Mount Mercy is asking for your help this Saturday. Volunteers are needed to empty and prep the bags at NewBo City Market from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.