Who makes what?
Meisinger said Ruth Lange, Rosalie Schmidtberger and Rebecca Gillet make the quilts.
Schmidtberger said her husband used to tease her about taking a good piece of material and cutting it up and then sewing it back together.
“I said I see you taking a perfectly good board and sawing it up.”
The crocheting of plastic bags into sleeping mats is done by Lois Johnson, LaVaughn Klose, Meisinger and Lange.
Meisinger said it takes about six weeks to complete a mat.
“The girls that do the crocheting,” she said, “take them home and work on them around their meals and other housework.”
One of the ladies crocheting said if she can sit down and work only on that project, it goes faster and it’s a lot more fun.
The ladies who fold, cut, tie and roll the plastic bags to make the sleeping mats are Marlene Bernhardt, Bonnie Schmidt, Aileen Hanschu, Nova Bruner, Lois Johnson, Jane Gooding, Karon Hess, Meisinger and Klose.
Johnson makes the pillows,?Meisinger said, used old materials and stuffing them with Polyfil.
One of the ladies in the group said Thursday was a good day to meet because nothing else was going on for most of them.
Meisinger said everyone helping has a hobby and a common interest.
“We all found our niche doing different things,” she said.
The group didn’t meet in August, she said, because a lot of the ladies were working with vacation bible school activities.
“Some of the ladies that didn’t do VBS said they really missed it because it was a social gathering to them, along with doing something to help others,” she said.
“We make something good for other people,” she said. “A lot of other congregations who do World Relief quilts, mats and pillows did this long before we started here.”
One woman said in Kansas City, a group of women were making sleeping mats for homeless people there.
Orphan Grain Train
Thus far, the ladies group have made 45 sleeping mats, 78 quilts and 51 pillows which are delivered at a location near Herington and then are picked up by the Orphan Grain Train.
Lois Johnson, another member of the Thursday group, said the Orphan Grain Train started in Nebraska for children.
“(The grain train) would go around and get loads of grain,” she said, “but not everybody had grain,” she said, which led to change.
Today, she said, companies volunteer trucks, which take food to disaster areas or other places around the world.
The items go to the Orphan Grain Train and then to the Lutheran World Relief Organization.
“Half of whatever they get goes overseas and the other half stays in the U.S. to help in disaster areas,” Johnson said.
A couple of ladies from the Marion church drive to the drop-off point and deliver the handmade items.
One of the women said they don’t take any women’s clothes because she thought they get “bombarded” with those types of things.
The Orphan Grain Train also puts out a newsletter and, one of the ladies said that every time she sees one of the Haiti people pictured with a mat, she wonders if it was one made in Marion.
Meisinger said they also have visitors come on Thursdays.
“One man, who is a member of our church, brought in bags and tied with us,” she said.
Everyone working on Thursdays agreed the two hours offers them a time for fellowship and joked it was a chance to “solve the problems of the world.”
Meisinger said: “We have a good time getting together.”