Everyday is exciting at NJS – you never know who you will bump into and what you will learn that is going on in your backyard!!!

Had a great chat with Patty LaPorte of  St Peters CWL – she is part of a group that weaves the colourful outer milk bags into floor mats to send to Africa. Her group at Grand Bend has been creating these mats since 2008.  

The mats are used for packing between other items that are shipped and then they are distributed to be used for sleeping on and students to sit on during class as they have no desks.  There has been a 60% reduction in parasitic infections in the students and more students are attending classes as a direct result of these mats.

 It takes 200 bags to make 1 mat, approx 2ft x 3 ft . They have already created 4000 mats –that’s 800,000 bags that have not gone to the landfill. 

And now they are making sandals from the milk bags, two different styles\ of children’s sandals , a ladies style and a sandal for men. they have sent 47 pairs so far.

The mats go to several  distributors: “Missionary Services Committee” send their containers to Africa: “Crossworld Ministries” ship their containers to Haiti: “Samaritans Purse” send their containers to Haiti and other third world countries: The “Rotary” ship to El Salvador and Africa and the “Sparling Family” ship to Haiti.  Currently they can not keep up to the demands of these distributors.

The mats are used for sleeping on, sitting on in schools, curtains in hospitals and a roof and walls for a preschool.

The Milk Bag Challenge:    Plastic Milk Bags – the colourful outer ones is what we are looking for –must be clean and flattened. All brands, all colours are gratefully accepted.

Start Saving your milk bags – drop them into NJS showroom  and get a free NJS grocery tote for helping us with this great cause. (and the grocery tote is recycled too!)

You can also contact Patti Laporte for more information:

We would love help as well if anyone can volunteer. We meet Wed mornings from 10-12 at St. John by the Lake Anglican Church in Grand Bend. If anyone cannot come, but would like to help, it shortens our time if the bags are flattened and piled in groups of 25. I can be contacted at laportep@hay.net or 519-236-4876 if you or anyone needs more info. All of our time is voluntary and we sometimes sell the items to raise money to pay for the shipping cannisters that are sent to Africa thru the Rotary Club of Grand Bend. The mats, wine bottle carriers (from silver, blue etc wonder bread bags) are $10. We also make the mats-half as wide into beach bags, and mats to sit on at the arena. Ideas are greatly appreciated and are limited only by ones imagination.”


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