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Woman crochets plastic bags into mats for homeless

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indianapolis woman is working to bring comfort to those who need it most and she needs your help.

Rebecca Colone is collecting plastic bags to make mats for the homeless. She has 2,500 bags so far.

She said it’s her first time crocheting and she watched online videos to learn how.

“I know I’m guilty of throwing them away at times; I hate doing that,” said Colone. “I try to recycle also, but there’s just so many plastic bags in the world, and I thought, ‘Why not take something like that that can easily be crocheted together and help the population that desperately needs them?”

The creator said it takes 500 bags to make just one mat and takes several hours to get done.

“First you have to flatten the bags and then cut them. Then you cut a normal-sized bag — you’ll cut into four strips. Then you tie the strips together and make them tight and that’s called the plarn (plastic yard). Then you just crochet and you do 2 1/2-by-6 feet and so all together, it takes about 5-8 hours,” Colone said.

The mats are also made to be easy to carry and transport. Colone said her goal is to make at least 50 and hand them out to homeless camps.

“It’s just like they’ve won the lottery; they’re so excited. Others might think, “Oh, it’s a mat’, but to them, it’s something that they don’t have to directly lay on the ground. They don’t have to lay if it’s been raining or wet. They just put the mat down; it gives them a bit of cushion,” she said.

Colone also adds a card with every mat she gives away. The card has a picture of her mother on it. She was Colone’s best friend and motivator, who died of cancer five years ago.

“I just hate anyone feeling like they’re alone in the world, like they have no one, because no one should ever feel that way. So I’ve included a little card, something that says, ‘We’re thinking about you and we’re praying over you and never feel like you’re unloved,” Colone said.

Colone’s Facebook page has details on how to donate bags or volunteer to crochet mats.