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

Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for ‘immediate’ government help for businesses shut down

‘Don’t punish all businesses for the sins of a few,’ CEO Anita Huberman says

The 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Mammography machine, new to the Surrey Breast Health Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (submitted photo)
New 3D breast-cancer technology in Surrey ‘has already helped so many women’

Digital breast tomosynthesis new to Surrey Breast Health Clinic

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
South Surrey Spanish Flu survivor marks 105 years

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

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

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

There are 32 active outbreaks in seniors' homes in the Fraser Health region.
MAP: See the locations of 32 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Fraser Health seniors’ homes

There are 32 active outbreaks in assisted-living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Most Read