Not everyone can make sleeping mats out of milk bags, but that’s what a seniors group from Bethany Courts enjoys. And the much-needed results are sent to a mission hospital in Zambia.

It started a number of years ago – in 2010, the group estimates – but continues under the leadership of Joan Hamilton and George Telfer. The familiar outer milk bags, that advertise various brands, are collected and turned into three-foot by four-foot sleeping mats. They are washable, durable, pest free and, by all reports, very much appreciated by those who receive them.

First, the milk bags are smoothed out, then clipped together and prepared for cutting. The pieces are weaved together on a specially-designed wooden frame. Each mat takes about 90 minutes to complete. The group ships a container filled with about 200 mats every year.

The hours spent at their weekly meetings produce some great mats but also keeping the energy level high is lots of good conversation among the volunteers. A cup of tea and some goodies complete the afternoon, along with the hope they have made someone comfortable in another part of the world.

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