Emily Beikman: Her DIY Sleep Mats Help the Homeless & Environment (Learn How You Can Help!) by Donna John

Helping those who are experiencing homelessness is something 19-year-old Emily Beikman has always been passionate about  and she found a creative way to do it. Emily makes sleep mats. Awesome idea, but it gets even better. Not only do her sleep mats help the homeless, they also help the environment because they are made out of plastic bags.

“I was inspired to make sleeping mats because of a post I saw on Pinterest,” says Emily. “I plan to donate the mats that I make to a local shelter so they can distribute them. I’ve also had several people reach out and say they’d like to purchase one!”

Emily can complete a mat in two or three days, and each mat can take anywhere from 500 to 1,000 bags, depending on the size, out of landfills. Here are some fun facts about Emily’s plastic sleep mats:

  • They help keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  • They do not attract bed bugs, lice, etc.
  • They do not hold or absorb water and will keep you dry. Because of this they can be easily rinsed off and cleaned.
  • They provide a squishy barrier between the hard ground and your body.
  • They are lightweight and will have a strap attached making them very easy to carry.
  • They are durable and will not wear out easily.

She also likes to use T-shirts from yard sales to make things like rugs and baskets. “I save all of my scrap materials and either make new projects with it or I use it for stuffing so that I don’t have to throw anything away. When I cut up T-shirts for projects, I send them to my former art teacher to use as cleaning rags.”

If she’s fortunate enough to grow her business to a larger scale, Emily would love to employ those who are affected by homelessness or domestic violence. But her ultimate career goal is to open a shelter for veterans without homes.

Want to help Emily, the homeless and the environment? You can send your plastic bags to:

Emily Beikman
7950 Southeastern Ave., P.O. Box 39689
Indianapolis, IN 46239 

If you want to make your own sleep mat out of plastic bags watch the video above! 

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Donna John
What an amazing young lady! Want to thank my daughter, Katie Smith , for bringing her to my attention. She saw a tweet about her sleep mats and sent it to me. Wishing Emily all the best in her endeavor. Let's help her out, 30Seconds community!
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
OMG, this is amazing. I love to see young people take action like this. Wonderful story and yes, she needs our support. Thank you, @KatieSmith, for sharing this story with your mom, and thank you, Donna John , for shining a light on it!
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
This is so amazing! Thanks for sharing it with us, Donna John . What a great reminder of the power we all have to make a difference!

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