Mats Made for Helping Homeless


Amanya Gonzales, Writer

   Think about how much plastic the average person wastes? Where does it go? Our landfills, the ocean, and it becomes consumed by wildlife. Imagine if this same plastic could be used for the greater good? Well, one doesn’t have to anymore! 

   Mrs. Betty Lou Kline, with Central’s music department, and a group of willing and dedicated people have began to create mats out of these bags. The mats are then sent to homeless shelters to provide warmth and coverage for the needy. Mrs. Kline states, “The people receiving these mats deserve to be comfortable and likely are unable to afford the creature comforts we all take for granted.” Apart from this, it can be easy to take the average person’s heat as an example. Whereas most can turn up the thermostat or throw on an extra sweater, these individuals do not have the luxury of any heat or shelter!

   To make mats out of bags may seem bizarre, but in fact, they have proven to be one nifty bundle of warmth. Mrs. Kline reflects on where the idea began to take its form, “A friend asked if I’d ever considered making ‘homeless mats’, a sleeping mat made from ‘upcycled’ plastics,” she began. “After seeing another group’s project, of course I looked into it!” Kline further explains the process: “Over the summer, a local company provided a LOT of water resistant fabric to combine with plastic bags for a stronger mat.  I saw an awesome opportunity to bring this to the high school kids.” And so with this, her idea blossomed into an amazing opportunity!

   Mrs. Kline isn’t the only person who has dedicated her time to the cause. Out of the handful of students who participated in these creations, William Oakes, 10, shares his experience: “I feel good knowing that they’re going to people who don’t have a lot of items. It made me feel extraordinary to be able to help them.”  The cause itself is quite extraordinary, as Oakes said. 

   With such a huge homeless population locally, there aren’t enough people to help make these mats at the alarming rate in which they are needed. Thus, Mrs. Kline urges anyone who has interest to come and join in on the fun!

To contact Mrs. Kline for more information, she can reached at:  [email protected]