A note from Wendy Arbushites, coordinator of the Sleeping Mat Ministry.
The Sleeping Mat Ministry team would like to thank everyone for their donations of clean, used plastic grocery bags! An extra thank you to the people who flatten out their bags, to the people who sort theirs by color, and the people who do the folding as per the slideshow! These steps all save us time, so thank you to those of you who take those extra steps for us.
Since early March, we have created 22 sleeping mats for the homeless in the Lehigh Valley. With winter coming, we could use more help to create mats. We would love all of our neighbors in need to have a sleeping mat for the winter.
Each mat takes an estimated 500-700 grocery bags (an average trash bag stuffed tightly full), so it takes a lot of time to make a single sleeping mat. Every bag must be flattened out, folded, cut, strung together and crocheted. Carrying straps and ties must be created, then the mat must be measured, rolled, tied, and given a strap. None of the steps are difficult, but they do take time. Some team members specialize in one or more areas; others do it all.
We would like to clarify what we need to produce sleeping mats.
- We are looking for soft (like a grocery bag) plastic bags that are grocery-sized or larger. Smaller bags are not worth the time it takes to turn them into “plarn” (plastic yarn).
- Small holes are OK, especially at the bottom, but shredded or torn bags are not usable. We need to be able to make a loop with the bag.
- Please give your bags a quick sniff test. We are making bedding. We cannot use bags that smell of mildew or other bad smells.
- For carrying straps, we can use long, thick plastic newspaper bags (16 inches long and 7 inches wide or larger), but not the see-through or smaller ones.
- Please check that your bags are clean and empty. Even removing receipts is time-consuming when you need to process hundreds of bags.
If you can follow these guidelines, you will help us to cut down on sorting time and on trash disposal. We appreciate you helping this ministry to care for our neighbors!
If you think you might be interested in helping, please contact Wendy Arbushites, coordinator.
Making a sleeping mat slideshow link:
Recently completed sleeping mats.
Our July delivery to the Lehigh Valley Health Network.