MAT MAKING MONDAYS
Helping the homeless.
educe, reuse, and Recycle is the mantra we live by yet how many of us follow this mantra? If I were to ask you what you thought a group of 10-yearolds did after school in a club your answer probably would be “Play video games.”
However, a group of fifth standard boys in a school in Surrey, Canada, are getting together every Monday after school to crochet mats for the homeless – using plastic grocery bags! They learned the crochet stitch at a camp and thus was born Mat Making Mondays.
They believe they have spent hundreds of hours in this endeavour and diverted a whopping 9,000 grocery bags from the landfill. A year ago they saw a man sitting on a pavement with no shirt or jacket, and a sign saying he was homeless.
The boys felt bad for him and all other homeless people so they looked for projects to help the homeless. They found that most groups were involved with fundraising. These boys wanted to actively do something. Their principal often talked about doing something for the environment.
Thus was born the idea of making mats. They first learned to cut plastic bags into strips, and then the next step was to tie them and crochet. It was a painfully slow process but one which yielded tremendous selfsatisfaction.
“The homeless people need the mats because, first, it keeps them warm and dry and secondly it keeps them comfortable, instead of lying on rock-hard concrete or dirty wet grass. It is also warm and actually keeps you alive in the cold and since these mats are very light, it’s easy to pack up and move,” says one of the students, Evan, of their venture.
The students are aware that their project helps the environment since, otherwise, these plastic bags would be thrown into a dumpster and they are not bio-degradable. “Instead, we’re making something useful with them,” they say happily. The students have now started making other items like pillows, cushions, shoes and bags.
These mat making students are not only keeping some needy people warm they are warming the hearts of all who hear about them. We too can follow their example and divert some plastic to something useful in our décor scheme. We
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The prize is awarded to: R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad.