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'Happy Hookers' on a mission to help the homeless with recycled plastic bags

This group of senior citizens is recycling plastic bags to make bed mats for the homeless.

From the outside, they look like everyone else.

Indeed, they’re typical senior citizens. They just happen to have one head-turning hobby.

“I’m very proud to be a hooker,” one of the women said.

That’s right. Every week, about 25 women meet in a small room at CC Young Senior Living in Dallas to hook.

As in, crochet.

“You can look at us and tell we’re not hookers,” one of the women laughed.

Although, they do call themselves the Happy Hookers. The funny name helps get people in the door, so they can send charity out of it.

Using recycled plastic bags, the women make sleeping mats for some of North Texas’ most vulnerable: the homeless, refugees or anyone who needs it.

For some of the women, it’s personal.

“I like to feel like I’m helping someone who helped me before,” said group member Rozina Vlasimsky.

Vlasimsky spent a year in refugee camps after fleeing communist Czechoslovakia at the end of World War II.

She says when you have nothing, something simple can feel like a million bucks.

“I think it means a lot to them that somebody out there thinks of them and somebody does something,” she said.

“You need to be needed,” added group member Sylvia Tyra. “You like to have a purpose, and this is a wonderful purpose.”

People like to assign labels, whether it’s homeless, refugee or something else entirely.

But, the ladies say, no matter what we call ourselves, we’re all part of the fabric of America. And we’re so much stronger when we mend what’s broken.

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