Three Pillars Residents Turn Plastic Shopping Bags into Mats for Those in Need

January 24, 2019
Dousman, Wis. January 21, 2019 — Three Pillars Senior Living Communities resident Lois Bergmann
had been knitting for years as a hobby and never considered how much her skill would benefit the community.After reading an article in early 2018 about how to make mats for people in need out of plastic bags, Lois becameinterested and learned everything she could about how to create them herself.

Lois called on her friend and fellow resident, Judi Wright, to get the project kicked off at Three Pillars, and together,the two created something incredibly special.

It takes approximately 48 hours and 700 plastic bags to complete one mat. The completed mats are 2 ½ feet wideand 6 feet long, with two carrying straps and one more strap to keep it rolled up. In total, they weigh less than fivepounds each.

Three Pillars senior living consultant, Lauri Eckmann, mentioned this project to her daughter, Rachel Eckmann,who wanted to help Lois as well. Rachel, a student at UW-Platteville, brought this project to her school and put upflyers and buckets around campus to collect plastic bags. Another employee, executive chef David Simms, workedwith Oconomowoc area businesses like Pick ‘n Save to collect donations of unused bags.

Lois is overjoyed at the response, “The community made these, not just myself or Judi. Without everybody helpingus, we wouldn’t be able to do it. We just couldn’t.”

To date, more than 95 mats have been distributed to St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Milwaukee for guests in needthrough the Capuchin Community Services program.