TikToker’s request for plastic bag donations sheds light on housing crisis

·2-min read

A 20-year-old is turning plastic bags into sleeping mats for people who are experiencing homelessness, and she’s asking for your help. 

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TikToker @luckyduck143, who goes by Jen, hails from Los Angeles, Calif., which is in the middle of a huge housing crisis. In June 2020, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority recorded 66,436 people without housing, a 12.7% increase over the previous year.

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Jen is seeking to help fellow Californians by reusing plastic shopping bags to create sleeping mats, in order to provide people experiencing homelessness with some comfort. 

“These mats not only use up plastic that would otherwise just sit in trash cans and roadsides,” Jen explained on TikTok. “But they’re [also] super durable against all weather conditions.

The creator said that the mats are “super comfy and squishy,” last a long time and are lighter to carry around than an entire mattress or sleeping bag. To make the mats, Jen cuts up recycled plastic bags into strips and then weaves the pieces together.

But recently, she has run out of bags. 

“So far, I’ve reused about 1,500 plastic grocery bags and made seven sleeping mats,” she said. “But I’m starting to run out. I’m currently seeking bag donations so that I can keep doing this!” 

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Her appeal has racked up over 400,000 views. People were eager to donate, so Jen had to get a P.O. box. She hopes to eventually film a tutorial on how to make the mats so that people everywhere can make them.

If you’d like to send Jen your plastic bags, you can mail them to:

P.O. Box 24768
1001 Gayley Ave. Ste. 105, #24768
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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