Group Makes Quilts For Homeless At Virtually No Cost Out Of THIS Common, Household Item (VIDEO)

After losing her husband two years ago, Omaha, Neb., resident Marilynn Jones needed something to do with her hands, but she wanted to feel like she was doing good for others, somehow, too. With 70 years of quilting experience under her fingers, she turned toward what she knew best and began knitting beds for the homeless – her medium: plastic bags.

Dozens of locals gather at Faith Westwood United Methodist Church every week to knit thick quilts made entirely out of plain old plastic grocery sacks. Volunteers collect, sort by color, cut down and smooth out the bags in preparation for weaving them all together into thick, plastic quilts one can use as a pad on the ground, or cover up with for warmth.

And who doesn’t have ungodly wads of these bags in some cupboard, bag or drawer somewhere they’d love to donate to a good cause? These bags are everywhere. The creative repurposing of such a prevalent recurring waste at such a low cost can’t be beat! The best part is that anyone who can teach themselves to knit and weave is capable of making such an item and donating it within their local communities. All it takes is time and a sense of community.

The Faith Westwood group donates their mats to homeless shelters in the winter. Then, especially, shelters fill quickly and beds run few and far between. Many end up sleeping directly on the concrete floor, or outside. Westwood’s mats offer at least an inch or so of insulation from the elements.

Over 1,000 bags go into the creation of a single mat. The group has made hundreds up on hundreds in its time, but Marilyn Jones has fashioned together more than any of them over the last two years. Now called the “plastic bag weaving” expert, Jones stated, “They tell me I’ve done 248. I don’t keep track.”

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

For Jones, the quilting is a bit of meditation that keeps her busy and makes her feel good in the absence of her late husband, so she’s not counting. Having learned to quilt 70 years ago from her grandmother, she is able to quilt at top speed without thinking twice about it, and just wants to do some good. She said, “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 an afghan or something – that doesn’t help me – I just need to do something for someone else.”

Jones is so fast at making the plastic bag mats that she can make one in a single day, often making two a week; whereas, most others take weeks to make a single mat. Jones told KMVT, “I started this one at 11:30 this morning and I’ll be done with it before I go to bed tonight.” She said, “It’s a very rewarding thing to do.”

Featured image via KMVT video screen capture.