Community Service Goes Green

Jun. 4, 2014 - by Carol Best

Used Shopping Bags Help the Homeless

By Carol Best
June 4, 2014
homeless mat2

It’s a great way to use plastic grocery bags and save them from a landfill. But more importantly, those bags can become a comforting mat to cushion the homeless from the hard cement. They are called ground mats and they are crocheted from discarded plastic shopping bags.

MNU HR Director, Nancy Merimee learned about the idea from Susan Colt in MNU’s Cashier’s Office. Susan’s church friends make the mats for Uplift.org, a non-profit in Kansas City, Mo., that assists the homeless.

Merimee and her Business Office coworkers decided to pair the idea with employees who were already part of MNU’s Prayer Shawl ministry, a group of employees who meet twice a month to crochet shawls that are given to individuals with prayer needs. The group was excited to help. Emails promoting a special community service day went out and employees were asked to bring their unwanted shopping bags to work. Any employee was encouraged to use one of his or her two days of community service leave to work on the mats.

Merimee explained that the bags have to be cut width-wise making strips. The strips are then tied together to make “yarn.” A large gauge crochet hook is used to crochet a mat with the plastic. The mats are soft and provide cushioning as well as being more weather proof than fabric.

homeless matMNU HR Director Nancy Merimee holds a ground mat that will be donated to Uplift.org.

“Twelve employees worked on making the bags,” Merimee said.  “Three bags are nearly done. It takes about 250 bags to make one mat.”

MNU employees are so enthused about the project that they have decided to incorporate ongoing mat making into the prayer shawl ministry. Anyone can join the group that meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m., in the Gilmore Room in Bell Cultural Events Center. Donations of unwanted, clean shopping bags are helpful. The bags can be dropped off in a recycling container in the Lunn Building work room. Individuals can also make the mats at home or work on cutting and tying the strips together if they don’t crochet. The group is happy to teach anyone the simple skills needed to make the mats.

We were all grateful for the opportunity to use discarded and annoying plastic bags to help people that are sometimes forgotten and overlooked,” Merimee said. “The idea to incorporate creating the mats with the Prayer Shawl Ministry was born during our service day. We want to keep this worthwhile and rewarding project going.”

One more thing is important to note. Each person working on a mat is also praying for its recipient. Who knows who will get the mats that are made? God knows.

 

MNU News

Sunday, August 2
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
FOE Team 2015
Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Faculty and staff chosen to be on the Foundations of Excellence task force studying MNU's first year student experience are in Asheville, North…

Read More
Bringing a passion for the past into the present

Bringing a passion for the past into the present

  History means something special to MNU graduate Sarah Wacker (’15). Her inspiration for American history stems from memories of her…

Read More
Lauren Glenn Mark
More Games Needed in the Classroom

More Games Needed in the Classroom

To engage today's learnings, more games should be utilized in the classroom. Games and learning are not at odds according to conference keynoter Glenn Wiebe a curriculum & technology integration…

Read More
NYC Scholarship Winner 2015
Scholarship Winner Always Wanted to Attend MNU

Scholarship Winner Always Wanted to Attend MNU

Dania Unruh had given up on her dream of attending MNU. Based on finances the senior from Garden City, Kansas figured she would attend community…

Read More
Pete Robinson
Army Chaplain named Alum of the Year

Army Chaplain named Alum of the Year

Army Capt. Pete Robinson (’04) wanted nothing to do with the military or hospitals when he graduated from MNU with a BA in youth and family ministry. Growing up in a household in which his father,…

Read More
MWROC-LN-072012-0668
Video: Mark Wood Orchestra Camp

Video: Mark Wood Orchestra Camp

It's the sixth year they've come to Olathe and MNU to learn from some of the world's best electric orchestra artists. And they love MNU's Bell Center and the experience they get from the Mark Wood…

Read More
Ranked #1
MNU Number 1 in Kansas in Money's Best Colleges 2015-2016

MNU Number 1 in Kansas in Money's Best Colleges 2015-2016

MidAmerica Nazarene University was named number 1 in Kansas among public and private colleges and universities in Money magazine’s “Money’s…

Read More
BlakeWalker
FCA Huddle Underway at MNU

FCA Huddle Underway at MNU

Assistant Football Coach Blake Walker, says the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) was the bridge for him from a 19-year-old student athlete searching for his place in the world, to a sold-out…

Read More
KCRM
SERVEteams Assist KC Rescue Mission

SERVEteams Assist KC Rescue Mission

MNU SERVEteams Squad'66 and Voices of Praise had the privilege of joining the ministry of the Kansas City Rescue Mission recently for an evening. Voices of Praise lead more than 80 men in worship.…

Read More
Sports
MNU Inducts 5 Into Athletics Hall of Fame

MNU Inducts 5 Into Athletics Hall of Fame

Mike Birge (football), Danny Hawkins (basketball), Penny Morin (softball), Matt Schneider (football), and Justen Wack (soccer) will be inducted on Homecoming weekend in October...(click title for more)

 
MNU Women's Soccer Camps

MNU Women's Soccer Camps

(click title for details)

 
Wade Watkins Joins MNU XC/T&F Program

Wade Watkins Joins MNU XC/T&F Program

MNU Athletics is pleased to announce the addition of Wade Watkins to the MNU Track and Field/Cross Country program as Associate Head Coach...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
The early construction of our booth
The early construction of our booth
The early construction of our booth
Our booth was complete with a looping video & prezi about MNU.
The complete booth! Our steel structure was created by local artist and alum David Platter and topped with images of Kansas City and the MNU campus.
With plenty of space to simply hang out, we designed our booth to be an open and welcoming place.