Alexis Stollings watches as Sharon Reeder donates plastic bags to the ‘Mats for a Cause Chilliwack’ effort to weave sleeping mats for the homeless in Chilliwack. (Darren Stollings photo)

Alexis Stollings watches as Sharon Reeder donates plastic bags to the ‘Mats for a Cause Chilliwack’ effort to weave sleeping mats for the homeless in Chilliwack. (Darren Stollings photo)

B.C. teen launches project to weave sleeping mats for the homeless

Mats for a Cause Chilliwack was created by youth who is seeking donations in plastic-bag drive

Sixteen-year-old Alexis Stollings has launched a plastic-bag drive in Chilliwack to make sleeping mats for the homeless before winter blows in.

The idea came to her while helping clear out the family home and finding a huge cache of plastic bags.

“I am really passionate about giving back to our community, and this was the perfect opportunity to help those in need,” said Stollings.

Finding out that there was a whopping 306 people in Chilliwack who self-identified as homeless during the 2020 Homeless Count, was a wakeup call. It was an increase of 38 per cent from the 2017 total of 221 people, and it made her realize the huge level of need.

“We need to take care of people in our community.”

The mats will be woven on a loom using strips made from the donated plastic bags.

READ MORE: Homeless mats crocheted by Chilliwack woman

“This work has been done before in Chilliwack, however with the winter months ahead it’s important that we help those in need in our community,” she said, referring to the mat project undertaken by Judy Simmill last February, who crocheted the mats for the homeless.

”In case you haven’t heard of it before, these mats help those facing homelessness by creating an insulator for them to sleep on that doesn’t get wet like blankets or regular mats do,” Stollings wrote in her post. “They also can be rolled up easily for storage or to carry.”

Each mat requires between 500 to 700 bags so they need all the help they can get.

Stollings has become an active member of the Youth Advisory Committee, and more than a dozen of her fellow committee members will be lending a hand as volunteers for the project, Mats for a Cause Chilliwack.

“This will be an amazing way to get youth involved in a community project.”

Message Alexis Stollings on Facebook by inbox or @mats_for_a_cause_chilliwack on Instagram. Bags can be dropped off at Stólō Nation (health building), 7201 Vedder Road, Building 7, Chilliwack, for the next week. It is behind the entrance to the pharmacy by the main doors, with bags dropped into a grey garbage bin with a bright green sign.

“Thank you so much to everyone willing to donate.”

READ MORE: Homelessness trending upward across the Fraser Valley

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

City of ChilliwackHomelessness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

A barrel racer is seen at the Cloverdale Rodeo. (Photo courtesy Cloverdale Rodeo)
Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair postponed until later in 2021

Rodeo president say both public safety related to the pandemic and the removal of border restrictions will determine new date

A proposed multi-family, multi-building development in east White Rock was the subject of a public hearing Monday evening. (City of White Rock image)
Pros and cons of White Rock housing development debated at virtual public hearing

Affordable housing need, traffic concerns among reasons cited for and against Beachway project

The new Phoenix Flame BBQ truck serves as a “Mobile Community Kitchen” in the Surrey area. (Photo: phoenixsociety.com)
New ‘Phoenix Flame BBQ’ truck now mobile with food for Surrey’s ‘hard-to-reach populations’

Also launched: Another Surrey Honda Raffle to help the Surrey-based agency and others

Teachers at Maple Green Elementary in Surrey stage a walk-in before school on Wednesday (March 3, 2021), as Fraser Health continues to announce variant exposure cases at Surrey schools throughout the district. (Submitted photo: Julia MacRae)
Surrey Teachers’ Association calls for district-specific COVID-19 safety measures

STA holds third and fourth walk-ins after multiple COVID-19 variant exposures

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Emergency crews are on scene at Walnut Grove Secondary School after a report of a bomb threat at Walnut Grove Secondary School on March 3, 2021. The school was safely evacuated. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Bomb threat forces evacuation of Langley high school

Police asked the public to avoid 88th Avenue and Walnut Grove Drive

Most Read