Students Make Sleeping Mats For Homeless Out Of Plastic Bags

Homelessness is everywhere, no matter where we look, where we go, or how hard we might like to ignore that fact.

And as the disparity between the rich and poor continues to grow in the face of this seemingly inescapable social injustice, we seem to become more and more disconnected from it. But not everyone is so quick to disregard the issue at hand.

Students at Lakewood High School have banded together to form a "Plarn Club."

YouTube | JPS-TV: The Official YouTube Channel Of Jeffco Public Schools In Colorado

It's essentially a quilting circle, but rather than spending their after school time making quilts, they're creating sleeping mats out of plastic bags for the homeless.

The image above shows a portion of the process, filmed by the school board's communications department, JPS-TV.

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"Plarn" or plastic yarn, is made by taking recycled plastic bags, cutting them into strips, and tying the strips together.

YouTube | JPS-TV: The Official YouTube Channel Of Jeffco Public Schools In Colorado

Shelby Tillema, a Lakewood Tiger, and the founder of the "Plarn Club" described the process of creation to a local YouTube channel that covers stories from their school district.

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“It makes the ground more comfortable and they’re water resistant and apparently they keep bugs away.”

YouTube | Denver7 – The Denver Channel

Tillema got the idea to start a club at her school after she discovered a group called Bev’s Bag Brigade, a group of Colorado women who have been making these mats for Volunteers of America since 2009.

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Tillema explained that she enjoys both the social and environmental impact of these mats.

YouTube | JPS-TV: The Official YouTube Channel Of Jeffco Public Schools In Colorado

“It’s nice to relax, and also it’s helping the environment and it’s helping other people,” she said. "It’s just very fulfilling that way.”

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All in all, these kids seem pretty darn proud of what they're doing, and we should be too!

YouTube | JPS-TV: The Official YouTube Channel Of Jeffco Public Schools In Colorado

Tillema hopes that others will join in on the cause so that they can bolster their impact.

“It’d be awesome if other Jeffco schools imitated this idea,” she told JPS-TV.

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