PHOENIX (CBS 5) - Jean Charlton, 82, spends a lot of time singing.

"I love it," said Charlton. "I've made a lot of friends through it, and it keeps me going."

The Phoenix grandmother is one of the founding members of the Sounds of the Southwest Singers, a community choir that travels the world raising money for charitable causes.

But the goodwill doesn't stop there.

PIF Homeless Helper 2

Sounds of the Southwest Singers is a community choir that travels the world raising money for charitable causes.

In her spare time, Charlton can be spotted sitting on her sofa, crocheting plastic grocery bags that she turns into durable, light-weight sleeping mats for the homeless.

The 6-foot by 3-foot mat looks like it's made from yarn.

Charlton said they're a lot more comfortable to lie on than the cold, hard ground.

PIF Homeless Helper 2

Sounds of the Southwest Singers is a community choir that travels the world raising money for charitable causes.

"I've been downtown at a shelter, and I've seen these people, and if there's anything I can do to help then I would," she said.

So far, Charlton has made about 50 sleeping mats and has no plans on stopping now.

It takes her about a week to make each mat, using 600 to 700 grocery bags.

Not a bad way to recycle.

Her fellow choir members have seen how devoted Charlton is to helping others, so they reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to the talented grandmother making a difference with her voice, hands and heart.

"I want everyone to know that there are lots of people out there that (sic) work behind the scenes, and just quietly do what they do to make a better world for a lot of people," said Leann Deller.

Deller and two other choir members stopped by Charlton's house this week, to give her $500.

"You have such a kind, loving heart, and you give so much to so many people that we wanted to recognize that," Deller said. "So we have for you $500 from the Pay It Forward program, and we love you and thank you so much for everything you do."

"She's a very kind and loving soul that (sic) would do anything for you," said Deller. "I know she doesn't want the recognition, but at this point, it's too bad."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Reporter

Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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