Brock Kirian, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at The Bellevue Hospital, has embarked on a charitable project that not only recycles, but helps the homeless by turning surgical equipment wraps into sleeping bags.
Inspired by a story he saw on Facebook about a CRNA in Tampa, Florida making the same type of bags, Kirian decided to put his resourcefulness towards helping those in need.
Every day, The Bellevue Hospital sterilizes surgical trays and tools used in surgery procedures. As soon as the trays are sterilized, they are wrapped in a plastic material to keep them sterile. Once the tray and tools are taken out of the wraps, the material is typically discarded.
“I noticed that the hospital was throwing away an average of 20-30 wraps a day and I knew there had to be a better use for them,” said Kirian. “I wanted to create something that could benefit both people and the environment.”
The wraps are made of an ideal material since they retain heat and are durable, while also being water-resistant.
“I didn’t have any sewing experience prior to starting this project,” said Kirian, a New Riegle, Ohio native. “I knew my mom had a sewing machine, so I went to her house and read instructions and diagrams to teach myself how to sew. The hardest part was threading the needle.”
It takes Kirian about 30 minutes to sew one sleeping bag. His goal is to get a large group of people together for a few sewing sessions so more bags can be created in a shorter amount of time. He plans on donating the bags he makes to local homeless shelters and churches to be distributed to community members in need.