Members of the Early Bird Rotary Club of Sheboygan presented twelve sleeping mats for the homeless to board members of the Sheboygan County Warming Center on December 31.
Rotary Club Service Committee members collected recycled grocery store bags, helped make “plarn,” and crocheted the mats which will be used at the shelter and eventually given to homeless adults for their use throughout the warmer seasons.
The idea came about during the early days of the pandemic shutdown, Kris Krentz, Rotarian, said. “Out of sheer boredom, I started looking for projects online that I thought our club might be interested in doing. I came upon a YouTube video showing a group of ladies makes mats for the homeless using grocery store bags, along with a tutorial,” she said.
“I thought it would be an easy project for our club to do. Not only would it be environmentally advantageous, but it would serve a community need,” Krentz said.
The bag collection was a simple process and club members, friends, and neighbors were quick to begin collecting. Over time, more people got involved cutting the bags and making plarn for crocheting.
Two club members crochet the mats at the present time, but there is a need for more volunteers to do that part of the process. Daryl Mangeri, Rotary club member and board member of the Warming Center, was instrumental in finding a welcoming home for the mats this winter, but the Warming Shelter staff indicated that more mats will be needed, so the project will continue into the next winter season.