Something most of us probably never think about is how uncomfortable it can be for people forced to sleep outdoors. Bedding materials get wet, and people get wet and cold. In the summer, pavement gets hot. These conditions can be dangerous for people who already struggle and may have health problems as well.
This past Friday at the reception for “Selves” art show seven mats were given to Pastor Marion Pope of the Journey Church in Winchester, TN. Others will be distributed to a homeless mission in Nashville by Harmony Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Winchester. Each mat comes with a prayer and a piece of artwork done as a community project at the gallery.
Joyce Adams and Pat Underwood expanded the efforts and refined the process after a dedicated group of ladies in the Belvidere Family & Community Education (FCE) group that meets at the Extension Office on Joyce St in Winchester started this project in their monthly meeting. They have been crocheting mats that can be used by anyone who sleeps outdoors. The mats are easy to make, lightweight and waterproof, and provide cushioning as well.
Joyce and Pat took this on as a weekly project and started an ongoing workshop to create more mats. In conjunction with Art Wednesday at the Artisan Depot Gallery in Cowan, TN which is a function of the Franklin County Arts Guild where anyone can bring a project to work on as a group.
In talking with Pastor Pope, he told the story of one man that had received one of the earlier made mats. Because of illness, this man lost his job, then his home and was sleeping under a carport in town. It was during the time that parts of Franklin Co received about 10 inches of rain. He received one of the badly needed mats, and it helped him stay dry. During that time, the pastor and others at the church helped this man get his disability check started, and they were able to get him into an apartment. Thank you, Journey Church! And thanks to all the ladies that help create these mats!
There are several ways you can participate in this worthy cause. You can come to Art Wednesday at the Artisan Depot Gallery in Cowan, 10:00 - 12:00. Everyone welcome. (Even if you can"t crochet) You can donate your plastic bags. They must be clean and dry. It takes 100 bags to make a mat. (That’s a lot of bags that are not going into a landfill, and they get a second use.) Can’t crochet? Joyce or Pat will be there to instruct you. You will need a size Q crochet hook and scissors.
You can contact Joyce Adams about the Sleeping Mats Project at 931-962-0280
You can contact Journey Church 931-691-2462. They also have a Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheJourneyWinchester/
For more information about Art Wednesday call and leave a message (931) 313-5686
For more information about FCE contact, Pat Richards call and leave a message 931-691-1817 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Artisan Depot is located at 204 Cumberland Street East in Cowan, Tennessee. For questions about the Franklin County Arts Guild, the gallery, or this project, please click here to email us.
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