Update from our leader: Angela

Summer is over and although things never stopped, we are back in full steam…

We have changed the way we make mats now to a much quicker and easier way by weaving them. The frames that we weave them on stay with the people who make the mats and they in turn make one mat after another, filling the frame and then removing the mat and starting another. Each mat takes about 3 hours to make, instead of the 40 hours for a crocheted mat. It takes very little skill, and in fact, I just did a church camp with kids who were 6 to 11 and they made 18 adult mats in one week. Five hundred or so bags are still required for the mat, but instead of cutting the bags into one inch strips (like we did for crocheting), the bags are cut in half.

We have over 1100 mats that went to the Canadian Food for Children now gone to the depot for this year, so we have surpassed the goal and I think it is wonderful.Most of them also are joined with a pillow made from the scraps and contained in fabric cases.

Brazil: the milk bags went over really well. I sent 240 pounds of new bags, crochet hooks, and scissors to the women down there. There are 3 places where they are working: an orphanage for teenagers, a church and I’m not sure of the other place… somewhere where women work with kids who live in the local dump. They would like to have more bags… but the place where I would send them is north of the capital and would require someone to pick them up from the airport. It can work, but I have a lot of details to figure out before we send there. One thing that is different from Haiti is I have to have plastic pallets, or fumigated wooden ones that are certified and stamped ” fumigated”.. they worry about insects getting into the rain forest and doing damage. I have someone here who knows where to get plastic pallets, so this is one thing figured out.

– Burkina Faso- Africa : Things are not working out for delivery of the bags, but I would rather stay away from Africa right now due to Ebola.

– My schedule for the next few weeks:

Sunday, Sept 14th. Roy McMurtry Detention Centre in Brampton. Kids who are in maximum security …I have been here before, but worked with girls. This time I’m with the boys.

Monday, Sept 15th. Seniors Centre at Coxwell and Danforth. Great bunch of people who want to weave. They will have 2 frames and the lady who organizes their recreation time has already been here for a load of milk bags.

Friday, Sept 19th… a school assembly in Etobicoke

Friday, Sept 26th… An acceptance ceremony of 30 mats seniors have made in Markham. They want publicity … TV and Newspapers. This group of people were organized through my contact at Celestica. Celestica is also looking for publicity and MILKBAGS unlimited would benefit too, maybe someone can help out with this.

Thursday, Oct 2… been invited to WE DAY at the Rogers Centre. Should be pretty good. 50 thousand kids and all very social justice minded.

Friday, Sat and Sun, Oct 3 to 5… going to a Girl Guide weekend camp in Ottawa. I’m shipping a pallet of milk bags to them. Should be an interesting weekend. This is a follow up after the event in May at Wonderland with the 8800 girl guides.