Update on Mat Project for Haiti – Part 1

March 29, 2012 at 11:54 am 2 comments

(Above) Milk Bag mat made by Norman Yost. Photo by Violet Ropp


Updates and News from Northwest Haiti Christian Mission Canada

In February 2010, I wrote my first blog piece on recycling milk bags for the project Mats for Haiti. Soon after that, I was connected with Violet Ropp by a fellow writer, Jan Cox. When I spoke to Violet, I offered my blog as an information place for people wishing to become involved with this project, so they could connect with those already working on mats. Since then, I have received many messages and observed countless searches for that information on my blog.

In February 2012, Violet Ropp sent me news of changes, and so it’s time to update that information. The Mat project for Haiti is now connected to an organization called Ontario Gleaners, located in Cambridge, Ontario.

When other items are shipped to Haiti from that location, the milk bag mats are used as packing. Therefore, the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission (NWCHM) prefers the mats that are rolled and tied with plastic milk bag strips.

In February 2012, more than 500 mats were sent to Dunnville so they could be shipped to Haiti. All the mats previously stored in facilities in New Hamburg, Stratford, Linwood, Milverton and Brunner have been moved to a facility in Dunnville for NWCHM.

It appears as though the Mennonite Central Committee does not accept or support the use of milk bag mats for their work in Haiti. Shelley Stone, Manager of Ontario Gleaners, recently wrote that some people have been confused about the usefulness of the mats.

“The only time mats cause trouble,” wrote Tina Leslie, Executive Director of Haiti Christian Mission, “is if they are made from shopping bags, or some other plastic. The milk bags do not deteriorate so fast in the tropical sun. Where mats are made from other kinds of bags, the plastic flakes off and blows around like a snowy litter in the wind.Therefore, it seems that the milk bags are still the best material for making mats.

To Ontario Gleaners’ manager, Tina wrote: “Thank you for being a collection spot for the wonderful people who make them…  We pray for each one who labours long hours to provide a clean, comfortable place for people to sleep.”  She also reminds us that when we minister to people in need, we are ministering to the Lord. (Matthew 25:40)


Seee Part 2 next week on current groups making mats


Ontario Gleaners, 1550 Morrison Road, Cambridge, Ontario.

Open Monday to Friday, from 8am until 1pm. Please phone ahead if you need to drop off your finished milk bag mats outside of those hours. Contact Shelley Stone, Manager, at (519- 624-8245)



Northwest Haiti Christian Mission Canada

Website: www.nwhcm.ca

Phone: 905-774-7021

Tina Leslie tina.leslie@nwhcm.ca


Contact Violet Ropp for information on preparing mats and active groups. (chviropp@porchlight.ca)



Entry filed under: community, Missions. Tags: , , .

Saturday Snapshots– Daffodils Team Nova Scotia–All the way to St. Albert in 2012

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shelly reider  |  April 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I am not affiliated with any group but I have myself contributed around 100 (yes 100) mats to the cause – I have a fine collection of milk bags already cut and ready to be strung but do not know anyone from my area (pickering ontario) that would like to only crochet as I can supply the already strung plarn. Let me know if any of your readers are interested – I will find a way to get the plarn to them. Tks shelly

    • 2. storygal  |  April 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Hello Shelley,

      Feel free to contact Chris and Violet Ropp at . I’m awaiting an update of groups who are actively making mats or collecting materials. Also feel free to contact anyone who has posted to my blog. Best wishes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Twitter Updates

Top Canadian Blogs - Top Blogs

Book title

debi riley

The Creative Zone for Making Art

Shot By Sarah


Janice L. Dick

Tansy & Thistle Press: faith, fiction, forum

LEANNE COLE - The Photographer's Mentor

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

SIMPLY LIFE with Kathleen Gibson

Just another WordPress.com weblog

I Like It!

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Whatever He Says

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Baden Storytellers' Guild

Continuing the Tradition of Oral Storytelling


thoughts on faith and fiction


Garden adventures and advice...

Promises of Home

Stories of British Home Children, written, compiled and edited by Rose McCormick Brandon

%d bloggers like this: