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

Wednesday, May 24
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
BarkmanBees-12
New Bee Colonies Bring Multiple Research Possibilities

New Bee Colonies Bring Multiple Research Possibilities

A big addition to the wildlife that biology students will study, arrived on campus last week. Thanks to the generous donation of Brent (FS ’85) and…

Read More
The Most Impactful Inventions in Each State

The Most Impactful Inventions in Each State

  They say necessity is the mother of all invention, but which states inspired which inventions? Whether the invention was necessary or not is…

Read More
Open House Pic
Accelerated and Graduate Programs Open House

Accelerated and Graduate Programs Open House

The School of Professional and Graduate Studies is hosting open houses at its Liberty and Olathe locations. TUESDAY, June 13      …

Read More
Mabee LC
MNU To Provide Library Services to Nazarene Bible College

MNU To Provide Library Services to Nazarene Bible College

MidAmerica Nazarene University and Nazarene Bible College (NBC) announced today that they are partnering to offer MNU’s library services to NBC…

Read More
Elstrom Alana-11
Grad Feels Prepared for Job Market

Grad Feels Prepared for Job Market

Student teaching first grade at Sunflower Elementary School in Gardner, Kansas has been a dream come true for senior elementary education major Alayna Elstrom. Having completed a practicum at the…

Read More
MNU Appreciation Day Proclamation 05022017
City Proclaims May 2, MNU Appreciation Day

City Proclaims May 2, MNU Appreciation Day

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, was proclaimed MNU Appreciation Day by Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland (’84) at a city council meeting. MNU President David…

Read More
Investrment Club 042017
Investment Club Gives Students Real Market Experience

Investment Club Gives Students Real Market Experience

On any given Monday during the academic year a group of students gather with Associate Professor Mary Murphy, PhD, and Financial Advisor Jack Hansen…

Read More
Michael Lewis-11
Internship Leads to Career Choice

Internship Leads to Career Choice

Triple jumpers are exceptional athletes often possessing a natural ability to perform the complicated jump. But they don’t rely solely on that ability. They refine their technique to maximize the…

Read More
MNU PresidentsHonors 0239
President's Honors 2017 Sets New Record

President's Honors 2017 Sets New Record

President's Honors, MNU's premier fundraising gala for student scholarships, set a record again! A total of $709,126 was raised through sponsorships, bids and gifts April 7, 2017. This brings…

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Fall to #10 Middle Georgia to Close Season

Pioneers Fall to #10 Middle Georgia to Close Season

LIMA, Ohio - MNU closed the season with an 8-1 loss at the hands of #10 Middle Georgia State on Tuesday...

 
Pioneers Split Day 1 at Opening Round

Pioneers Split Day 1 at Opening Round

LIMA, Ohio - MNU won the first game but fell in the nightcap on Day 1 of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round - Lima Bracket.

 
Baseball Heads to Ohio for Opening Round

Baseball Heads to Ohio for Opening Round

MNU is the 4-seed in a 5-team double-elimination pod in Lima, Ohio in the 2017 Baseball World Series Opening Round.

 
Latest Photos
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement