Seniors group crochets sleep mats for the homeless from plastic bags

A group of Canadian seniors is crocheting sleep mats for the homeless, using old plastic bags.

Yes, really, so now would be the time for us to issue a not-safe-for-work warning if you’re uncomfortable with crying at your desk — something that admittedly happens at Living Vegan on the regular.

The Plarn Crochet Circle, in Surrey, British Columbia, meets every Saturday to crochet water-resistant mats for those in need, and has been doing so for more than a year now. With 620 bags going into each sleeping mat, the group has repurposed more than 40,000 of them to-date, in an initiative which group founder Linda Bellamy says helps more than just the recipients.

Plarn Crochet Circle

I think this initiative brings an awareness of several factors to the community,” she said.

They begin discussing youth homelessness and protecting the environment.  They are made aware of what they can do to help.  It is something tangible and easy to do.  Everyone can help in his or her own way and benefit.

By diverting plastic bags away from landfills, the project is but one part of a fight the Canadian consumers and lawmakers are tackling with increasing enthusiasm. In fact, the provincial governments of both Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, have taken steps toward banning them entirely.

Plastic Waste Disposal Site

Those of us who are now feeling like the most useless human beings on the planet will be pleased to know that the group, which meets at the Whitecliff retirement home in South Surrey, is open to accepting new members. So, depending on the commute, this might be a real good time to grab those crochet hooks. The Plarn Crochet Circle has also inspired groups at various churches in the Greater Vancouver Area, as well as in Kelowna, Kamloops and Ireland.

No crochet skills? No sweat. You can also contribute by leaving plastic bags with Whitecliff reception, at 15501 16 Ave.

Header image: Jozef Sowa/
Body images: Provided & Mohamed Abdulraheem/

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