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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Woman Crochets Plastic Bags Into Sleeping Mats For The Homeless

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(applause)

- All right, so most of y'all know,

I'm really into things crafty.

I just love crafts.

Any kinda craft, I don't have time for it, but I love it.

Anyway, well, my next guest is doing something ingenious.

She's bringing together her love of crafting

with her passion for kindness.

She creates those mats by crocheting plastic bags,

then she gives them to the homeless.

It's a durable and cost-effective way

and also, renew, reuse, recycle.

- [Rebecca] Yes, yes. - Way to go you.

So say hello to Rebecca y'all.

(audience cheers)

Especially 'cause a lot of people,

if you don't get paper and you have plastic at home,

you're like, what do I do with all these?

- [Rebecca] Yes. - Then you just waste it,

and you throw it away.

- Unfortunately, they're thrown away.

- How did this idea come up though?

This is a random idea, I'm gonna make plastic bag mats.

- Yes, I know it's so crazy. - Yeah.

- Yes, a woman at my church told me

about 'em a few months ago,

saying that she makes these sleeping mats

out of plastic bags. - [Kelly] Yeah.

- And I just thought that was so cool

that you could even do that.

So I Googled how to make them,

and I have never crocheted a day in my life,

I have no idea, never,

didn't even know how to work-- - [Kelly] So anyone can do it.

- Yes. - [Kelly] Oh wow, okay cool.

- If I can, anybody can.

- I'm just saying, I've never crocheted, I only quilt.

So I've never done that.

- Yes, I had never either.

So I watched the video and I went through all the bags

I had at home.

All my family and friends got me bags,

and I went through all those.

And I just love it too,

because once you buy the crochet hook,

you can just keep on making mats for endless,

as long as you want.

- That's so great.

- And to give 'em to a population that needs 'em.

- So it's not super expensive to make, as well.

- No, no. - That's amazing.

- It's amazing, yeah.

- It must take a long time, how long does one mat take?

- It does, it's very time-consuming,

one mat takes between 500 and 750 plastic bags.

- [Kelly] Yeah.

- [Rebecca] For one mat.

- [Kelly] Wow.

- And it takes about eight to 10 hours to make them,

and my very first one I did, I wasn't paying attention,

'cause I've never done this before,

and my mat ended up being six feet by six feet, so it was,

(audience laughs) it was humongous.

- So you made a blanket?

- I did!

- [Kelly] You made a blanket.

- I thought, yeah, a queen sized mat, but then I thought

they'd have to roll it all up, it'd be so hard to carry.

- [Kelly] Yeah.

- So I had to unravel it all and start over.

- Oh, that's right, that's so thoughtful,

yeah, they'll have to--

- [Rebecca] Yes.

- Oh my gosh, isn't that an awesome idea?

- That was a lot of work.

- Amazing, I would have just taken the queen size one.

(audience laughs)

- I almost wanted to.

- Yeah.

- So wait, we actually have one here.

This is, and it is light, it looks like a little yoga mat,

how you carry a little yoga, not that I do that, but--

(applause)

- [Rebecca] It has the strap,

so you can tie it all together.

- Oh, okay, okay, okay.

- And then it has the carrying thing

that you could put it across your back to carry.

- Yes, and then it just un--

- Yeah, and then it just unravels.

- I love, y'all, this feels so cool.

- [Rebecca] It's real sturdy.

- [Kelly] What a brilliant, of course it is.

- [Rebecca] Yeah.

- [Kelly] It's plastic, that's amazing.

And it's a great way, there's so much waste on this planet,

and so, nice to just reuse it for something that,

this is helpful.

- Exactly.

- Sitting on the cold ground must be incredibly cold.

- Yes, yes.

- I don't know if you've ever been camping,

when the ground is cold.

- Yes. (laughs)

- But anyway, there's a special reason, though,

you want to give back, tell us what that is.

- Yes, my mom was my best friend, she was my motivator,

she taught at a Catholic school,

she always taught me how to give back.

That, if there was something that you can do

to help other people--

- Amen, yeah.

- Then that's just what you do.

- Yeah.

- That life is about relationships, not what you have.

And so, three years ago, I had breast cancer.

- [Kelly] Oh.

- And so, luckily, thank God, mine was diagnosed very early,

so I had a double mastectomy.

- Wow.

- And I didn't have to go through anything else.

But that just reminded me of my mom,

and reminded me that there are things that I can do now,

and I wanna be intentional in helping people.

- Yeah.

- So, during my recovery, I used,

they're called mastectomy pillows,

they're heart-shaped pillows that you put under your arms,

and they're very expensive, so I thought,

I'm just gonna learn how to make those,

even though I never sewed before,

I don't have a sewing machine.

And so, my friends and I stuffed 'em,

we donated 'em to the cancer center.

- That's so cool.

- Yeah, so other people can have those. (applause)

- Yes.

I love that you started a movement with this.

- [Rebecca] Yes.

- And I love that you led with intention,

you're like, I wanted my intention to always be.

- Intentionally.

- That's a really beautiful thing.

- Yes.

- And now, all these people

are now making these mats with you.

- [Rebecca] Yes.

- Yes.

- Yes, I was on the news last week at my local,

Indianapolis, and since then, I created a Facebook group,

Michelle's Mission of Love, after my mom,

and in just a week, we have 700 members.

- Wow.

- We have 30 collection sites all over the city

where people can donate their bags,

and then we take those bags to people that volunteer

to make the mats for us.

- [Kelly] Wow.

- It's just amazing, we've heard from churches, schools,

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, ministries from jails

that want to get their inmates involved,

nursing home that wanna get their residents involved.

- Yes.

- It's just taken off, it's just--

- You know why?

- It's just great.

- 'Cause it was a pure idea, and it was a real one,

and it was close to home, and it means something.

- [Rebecca] Yes, yes, definitely.

- It's a passion project.

- Yes, it's definitely a passion project.

- It's a passion project for you

that's actually changing people's lives,

and that's what I thought so cool,

and we wanted you on the show,

so thank you so much for inspiring us today.

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