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Community initiative helps children overseas

OSCC work to turn bags into sleeping mats for developing world


Edna McAvoy, left, and Robin Potter at the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre share a laugh as they work to transform hundreds of milk bags into sleeping mats for people in developing countries.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

For some, it may just be a bag to hold your milk bags; but for others, it can mean a comfortable, bug-free sleep.

At the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre, members of the centre and a student group from Durham College are weaving together hundreds of milk bags into mattresses to be sent to the developing world.

“I like to recycle everything,” says Robin Potter, who has worked to put together nearly 20 of the mats, which generally consist of more than 500 milk bags.

A local church will be assisting OSCC in distributing the mats to the developing world.

For Durham College student Jordan Binet, the initiative not only helps those communities receiving the mats, but helps here in Oshawa as well.

“This is something you’re giving to the community. I think it’s great because it’s a program that’s very rare these days and it could be introduced in almost any aspect of any facility,” Binet says.

“You can have this for children, you can have this be a program at any facility, recreational wise, in Oshawa, Whitby, anywhere and the great thing about it is it’s a good cause.”

Binet was among a group of four Durham College students taking part in the program and, among them, were able to garner 480 of their set 500-bag goal.

Adriane Stewart at the OSCC has been involved with crocheting mats for close to two years and explains the process is quite intricate when it comes to turning a pile of milk bags into something to sleep on.

First, the bags are sliced into strips before being looped together into long lengths of string where they are then balled up like yarn so they can be weaved together.

Despite the intensive process, Stewart says she is happy to take part.

“It’s quite a worthwhile cause,” she says.