Teresa (Schmitz) Winkler ’84, a TMC alumna and member of St. Anthony Church in Taylor Mill, Ky., founded the Bags 2 Beds Ministry at the parish in February of 2014. The purpose of this ministry is to provide sleeping mats for the homeless.
The group collects plastic bags – the kind most retail and grocery stores distribute goods in, and makes them into plarn (plastic yarn), which is then crocheted into 2 ½ X 6 foot mats. The mats are lightweight and easy to carry, and provide a waterproof barrier from the elements. It takes approximately 500-600 bags to make one mat, creating the added bonus of keeping these bags out of local landfills.
St. Anthony Church’s Bags 2 Beds Ministry works with Employment Connections, a Kentucky agency that serves Boone, Bourbon, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Kenton, Nicholas, Owen, Pendleton, and Scott Counties, to make and distribute the mats. Employment Connections and St. Anthony Church are the primary sources for collecting bags used to create the plarn. Currently the Ministry has seven to eight people who crochet the mats on a regular basis, Employment Connections then distributes the mats through various agencies in the Commonwealth. To date the Ministry has distributed nearly 275 mats.
The ministry is always looking for additional hands (all ages welcome!) to help in crocheting the mats, if you would like to be a part of this service to the homeless, please contact Teresa Winkler by phone (859-653-2941) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).