sleeping bags

Plastic and newspaper put together make an innovative way to keep the homeless warm on cold nights, and for Mandela Day many got together to make sleeping bags.


Johannesburg, South Africa – Jo Maxwell came up with an ingenious way to help keep the homeless warm. It all started while she was out doing charity work and she noticed street children had flimsy, practically useless blankets.

She went home and looked at what resources she had at home and started experimenting with plastic bags, newspaper and buff tape. After a few hours, Jo made several prototypes. She finalised her design using recycled, heavy-duty plastic bags and ten layers of newspaper.

The result was a sleeping bag that is warm and waterproof and easy to carry. It worked out that the costs of one of these innovative sleeping bags is just R 6.00.

Once she had her prototype sorted, Jo started teaching people how to make them, visiting charities and the likes to inspire people. Her design was so innovative, she was featured on the Design Indaba’s website. It also features how to make a bag.

For Mandela Day, Kingsmead College in Rosebank, Johannesburg hosted a Make-and-Donate-a-Sleeping-Bag campaign in partnership with Community Hours, an NGO that facilitates and manages community service activities.

They invited people to join them in making sleeping bags for the homeless. The Glass Recycling Company joined the school as part of their Mandela Day 67 minutes.

“Madiba spent his lifetime in service to the country and it is important for all South Africans to adopt an attitude of service towards others and the country,” said TGRC CEO, Shabeer Jhetam during the activity. “I am really excited about our team participating in this ingenious recycling endeavour on Mandela Day. We believe that as conscientious citizens we can all make a difference by making small but important choices daily, to make the world a better place.”

We also spoke to other people who attended the event. It received praise for being an innovative and fun way to do good with a lasting impact.

Sources: Supplied 
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Tyler Vivier
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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