A local hospital is re-purposing the instrument mats they use in operating rooms for the homeless rather than sending them to sit in a landfill.

The professionals at Lourdes Health System in Camden are able to sterilize most of the medical tools they use during surgery, but that isn't an option when it comes to the plastic mat they use to set those tools on because the recycling process can be expensive.

Lourdes surgical technician Dana Scarangelli and a nurse anesthetist named Laura Faust had heard about a former Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy who started a program that turned the OR mats into sleeping bags for the homeless.

So, Scarangelli and Faust creative their own program, and even enlisted help of seniors from a South Jersey adult living facility with sewing experience to create bed rolls, sleeping bags, tote bags, and other useful items, according to Courier Post.

Dana told Courier Post, "They're great to protect someone from the elements; they're warm, durable and stay dry."

Their creations have been picked up by several local organizations that assist the homeless population in Camden and other nearby towns in need. They are also looking for additional volunteers who know how to sew. If you're interested in helping, please contact Laura Faust at laurafaust@verizon.net.

We think its amazing that these busy professionals took the time to find a way to not only help the homeless, but the environment as well.

SOURCES: 6abc.com; Courier Post; Lourdes Health System