The homeless NEED toiletries bad. My community donates soap, deoderant, shampoo, toothpaste, kleenex, lotion, band aides ect right to my house as they get them. What we do is separate the stuff and put them in individual plastic baggies and send them out with the mats. Below is a picture of Cathy Ayers separating the items.
Weaving mats and pillows is not all that we do here at The Mat Weavers Ministry. We also purchase and or collect from the community, tents, mylar blankets, hats, gloves, underwear, socks, coats and toiletries.
A few days ago, a lady named Dorothy Parks hand crocheted all these hats and gave them to me for the homeless. I live in a VERY creative and supportive community. People are doing things like this all the time around here.
While I am not rich by any means, ever since I began this ministry, God has abundantly supplied my every need. Lets start with my loom. I used to crochet mats. It drove me insane! It took much longer, my mats were thinner, and I’m a guy!
I knew there had to be a much faster and better way to make a sleeping mat for the homeless. Then I remembered I used to weave baskets out of pom frons tight enough to carry water when I was in the Boy Scouts. This had me wondering if I could apply the same technique to make mats. To try this however, I needed to get a loom made.
I went EVERYWHERE trying to get a loom made. Most places wanted a very unaffordable and outrageous price just to make a loom.
One day, I was sitting, chatting with my best friend Pastor Gregory Coleman. I told him how I wanted to try to WEAVE a mat, but cant afford to get a loom made.
He told me, “do you know what I used to do before I became a Pastor?” He said he used to be an architect and he designed and built million dollar homes in Michigan. Then he said “you’ll have your loom”
2 weeks later, he arrived at my house with a loom that he had designed and built for only $55. It was awesome! It was 6ft. long x 3 ft. wide and he said it would outlive me.
From that moment on, I went through the process of teaching myself how to weave a beautiful, functional mat.
That is just ONE of many, many miracles God has done through this ministry. I will post more later.
Due to distance, and how busy I am all the time, I often do not get to personally hand my mats out to the homeless. What happens is other people come get my mats and hand them out to the homeless at an event or something and send me back the pictures and videos.
Below is a video that was taken at a homeless event in Goshen, Indiana. This is what I live for. This is why we do what we do. Help the homeless. What we do is NOT a solution, its an INTERVENTION.
Larry Eicher is a 79 year old man and friend of mine who lives in my neighborhood. A little over a year ago, Larry came to me and asked me to teach him to weave mats. I taught him and he learned. Below are some pictures of the mats he has made.
I got a call on December 4. 2 Veterans were in Defiance, Ohio sleeping in the woods. I was asked if I could do anything to help. I gave them 2 mat, pillow and tent sets. While what we do here at The Mat Weavers Ministry is NOT a solution, it is an INTERVENTION. I’m very happy that I am able to do this.
Below is Mike Knox, he works for the Veterans Administration in Defiance, Ohio. He came and picked up the sets.
I’m a small, ministry still in its beginning stages. There is no way I can keep up with all the demand for my mats. Perhaps as I get looms made and weavers trained, I will be able to do more, but for now all I can do is try to help 1 person at a time.
When I began weaving mats 4 years ago, it was my dream to get to the point where I can supply TENTS to go with our mats and pillows. This month, that dream became a reality.
100% of all our donations go right back into helping the homeless. Recently, I got a $150 donation from some friends of mine Bill & Deb. I used that money to buy 7 tents @ $20 each plus shipping. They arrived a few days ago.
1 Brand new 2 person tent can now go out with each mat I make. Furthermore, I have made the decision to purchase 4 tents each month out of my OWN MONEY. More tents will be purchased as I get donations.
This is my loom. It is 6 foot wide by 3 feet long. This is where I work my magic.
My partner and friend Pastor Greg Coleman used to be an architect before he became a Pastor. He designed and built it for me.
I have the plans to build more looms and I have a retired gentleman who wants to build them for me. They will be distributed FREE of charge to anyone who wants to learn to weave.
The requirements are as follows:
- Collect and cut 1,500 bags
- Weave 1 mat and pillow a week
- Sign an agreement accepting our terms and agreeing to do this.
- If you will not weave 1 mat and pillow a week, then you will agree to return the loom.
- I will come to your house and train you for FREE as long as you are local. Otherwise there will be video tutorials on this blog.
Due to the cost and labor it takes to build these looms, these rules are in place so that we do not waste money, time and labor.
One of the things I wanted to do was become a 501C3 non profit ministry. Well, I am happy to announce that as of June 12, 2019, that dream became a reality!
And on top of that, I ended up getting a check for $500 as my first donation. God is so good to me.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. – Genesis 2:18
God sends you help when you need it. For years, I’ve done this ministry pretty much with my dear friend and mentor, Pastor Gregory S. Coleman of the West Unity United Methodist Church.
Meet Cathy Ayers. I met Cathy about 9 months ago. She is an adorable, sweet, intelligent woman with a heart of gold. We started dating, we pray together, read our bibles together, attend church together, workout together, and then she seen my mats.
She wanted to learn, so I taught her. Today, she helps me collect and cut bags, she helps me separate them by color, and she weaves! I am blessed to no end to have her in my life and I am eternally grateful to God for such a blessing. To me, Cathy is the marrying kind.
Below are some pics.