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The Tritonian

Making Sleeping Pads for Homeless, Making Big Difference in Someone’s Life


Last weekend, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Bethany Church and help them make sleeping pads for the homeless. 

This service opportunity was a partnership with Midwest Missions, an organization that aims to “send tangible resources to those in need to make an intangible difference in their lives through hope and empowerment.”

One of their projects is making sleeping pads out of plastic grocery bags. This fall, Bethany Church started collecting bags to participate in this project.

They have received a great number of plastic bag donations. I saw many boxes filled to the brim with plastic bags, which is only a fraction of what they have.

Because of this, they are not accepting donations anymore, but plastic bags can be turned into participating grocery stores such as Festival Foods, Fresh Thyme, Metro Market, Meijer, and Pic ‘n Save, which will get them to other organizations that are accepting them.  

Making the sleeping pads is a very time-consuming but rewarding process.

“The mat we finished this weekend was truly our first mat,” shared Stephanie Dutkowski, a volunteer spearheading the project. “As you can see it takes a long time, especially when we don’t have dedicated hours.”

Helping to make the mats was a super rewarding experience for me. I was there for almost seven hours, but the time went by faster because everyone was having fun and lunch was provided.

Knowing that even a simple thing like weaving plastic bags together could make a real impact on my community made it worthwhile. 

The mat-making process was pretty simple once I got a hang of it. They were made on looms, and the plastic bags would be tied together and then threaded through the loom. 

I think it’s important to keep the impact of what you’re doing in mind during service. Something as small as volunteering your time or talent could make a big difference in someone else’s life.

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About the Contributor
Cassi Garrison
Cassi Garrison, Staff Writer
Cassi Garrison is a junior excited to enter her third year of writing for the Tritonian. She is very interested in current events, particularly social and environmental issues. Outside of journalism, she enjoys playing pickleball, participating in the school band, and spending time with family.

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