Mount Mercy students turn sandbags into handbags - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mount Mercy students turn sandbags into handbags

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Students of the Mount Mercy business group, Enactus, are finding a way to reuse sandbags from flood preparation by turning the sandbags into handbags.

Junior Derek Siddell said they thought of the idea after spending hours volunteering to fill sandbags.

"We just noticed all the great effort it took from all the city to come together as one and then we were kind of thinking what're we going to do with all these sandbags when we're done with the flood?"

On Saturday, the group will meet in NewBo to prep the bags and volunteers are encouraged.

"It's like a history for us and it means something That we all were there to prevent this flood and now we get to keep that piece of memory and carry it on with us forward as handbags," Siddell said.

Mock ups of what the bags will look like have sayings such as "I love CR," representing the countless hours volunteers spent to help protect the city of Cedar Rapids from flood waters.

"Some people look at them and say 'oh they're just sandbags, throw them away. Well, you don't know, there's so much work put into these sandbags. They represent more than just a barrier of water," Miranda Hammes, a senior at Mount Mercy, said.

The group will be working together with African Women Empowerment group, whom will do the sewing of the bags, and Red Ball Printing.

They hope to be selling the bags by December.

Sidell said the proceeds will go back to the African Women Empowerment group and Red Ball Printing to cover costs and to businesses damaged due to flooding.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see on the bags, email

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