Thanks to Christa Meland for sharing this Great Idea in the MN Annual Conference Newsletter; and to Joni Jenkins and Florence Hacklander of Hope UMC of Blue Earth, MN for starting this ministry in their congregation.
Hope UMC of Blue Earth has found a way to put plastic bags to good use while doing their part to heed Jesus’ call to heal a broken world: they are weaving plastic bags into sleeping mats for people experiencing homelessness.
Basically, there is an inexpensive ($100) loom to purchase; once that’s in place, it takes approximately 4-6 hours to weave a 40″x70″ sleeping mat. Mats are, ‘lightweight, flexible, and provide a thermal barrier against dampness, grass, gravel, sand, and cold floors. They also repel bugs, which don’t like the plastic.’
Plastic bags are collected from congregational donations and the local grocery store which collects them on behalf of the church’s ministry.
The looms are crafted by volunteer carpenters and sold by Midwest Mission in Jefferson, IA for a modest donation.
Joni Jenkins is quoted as saying, ‘The best part of making the mats is that anyone can do it – and it’s great for small churches because you only need one to four people to make each mat’.
Read the full article here.
Could you form a group in your local church to make the mats? Do you want a loom? Joni Jenkins says the best way to start is by spending a few days on a work crew at the Midwest Mission distribution center in Jefferson, Iowa, to learn how to do the weaving. You can then purchase a loom for a $100 donation and bring it back to your church to get started! Learn more
Get your local church weaving!