Nebraskan Woman Is Weaving Hundreds Of Mats From Plastic Bags For The Homeless

No act of kindness is ever too small, especially when some people haven’t witnessed much kindness in their lives at all.



Plastic is a burden to the environment, and homelessness is a crisis in need of remedy. Can both be lessened, however, with a bit of creative philanthropy?

If you were to ask volunteers with the Faith Westwood United Methodist Church in Nebraska, the answer would likely be ‘yes’. 

KMVT News reports that every week, dozens of women, and a few men, gather inside the Nebraskan church for an intriguing purpose. The volunteers collect, sort, de-wrinkle and smooth out thousands of plastic grocery bags – a common item most, unfortunately, throw away – to weave into woven mats for the homeless.

By using a method tested again and again by one of the group’s volunteers, Marilynn Jones, thousands of plastic bags are repurposed into mats homeless individuals can sleep on in less than satisfactory conditions.

So often, the homeless shelters in the metro are filled to capacity and people are forced to sleep on the floor. The plastic mats at least provide some comfort to those who need it most.

More than 1,000 plastic bags are required to make one mat. The group has so far made hundreds, but Jones is by far considered the “plastic bag weaving” pro.

Credit: KMTV News

Credit: KMTV News

She told KMTV News that she learned how to quilt 70 years ago and hasn’t stopped practicing the craft since. The first afghan she ever made, with the help of her grandmother, hangs in her home.

Regarding the plastic mats, “They tell me I’ve done 248. I don’t keep track,” she said. Jones presently makes two per week.

Jones began experimenting with the plastic bags two years ago shortly after losing her husband.

“I do this mainly…I lost my husband 2 years ago, and that’s when I started. I needed something to do with my hands and it worked out real well for me,” she shared.

Like many compassionate individuals, she’ll tell you no act of kindness is ever too small, especially when some people haven’t witnessed much kindness in their lives at all.

“I think the fact that I’m making something worthwhile, where I know where it goes and people that use it need it — I don’t like to just crochet for an afghan or something – that doesn’t help me – I just need to do something for someone else,” she said.

Not only is the practice helping to fill a void in heart, it’s blessing hundreds of others at the same time.

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