Mount Mercy students surpass sandbag recycle goal

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – Saturday's Sandbags to Handbags event brought dozens of volunteers and created more than 3,000 handbags.

Mount Mercy's Enactus club thought of the idea of recycling the sandbags and turning them into commemorative handbags. The bags will go toward helping NewBo City Market and other areas affected by the floods.

One student leader, Derek Siddell said it's a good way to promote sustainable living, as well as promote community team work.

"You kind of remember what all it took to put the sand in the bags. I had people here today that went and helped sandbag and they wanted to see how much they could do today to go back and undo that process, and see them go to another cause," Siddell said.

The group's adviser Nate Klein said it's powerful to see people coming out after the flood has ended.

"When it receded a lot people were concerned that they wouldn’t come out, but they have in full force to help neighbors and people they don’t even know in projects like this. Which really makes a true impact on our community and really speaks to what Cedar Rapids is," Klein said.

The group originally set a goal of 2,500 recycled sandbags. The bags will now go to African American Women Empowered who will sew them together.