MAT WEAVER’S MINISTRY … left to right: Kyler Stoy, scout; Kay Briner, Alpha Mu; Muriel Stevens, Alpha Mu; Bob Dewille, Mat Weaver’s Ministry; Michelle Smith, M W M assistant; Pam Sauder, Alpha Mu; Judy Feeney, Alpha Mu.
Alpha Mu Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international society of women educators with a dedication to altruism was treated to an informative and interesting presentation by Bob Dewille of his Mat Weaver’s Ministry. Montpelier Boy Scouts Troop #1125 was also in attendance.
Taking a crocheting concept, Dewille designed his own loom to make inch-thick mats for homeless people using recycled plastic bags. He cuts 3,000 – 5,000 bags per day and is assisted by many other volunteers in this task.
With 1500 prepared bags for each mat and 300 per pillow, he can make each set in about 11 hours. Dewille uses many colors of bags to make them cheerful. For instance, he may give a homeless veteran a red, white, and blue mat.
Dewille has collection bins for plastic bags in Montpelier at Huntington Bank, Bryan at the First Presbyterian Church, and West Unity at Solid Rock Church.
Dewille’s 501(3c) nonprofit organization has distributed mats to homeless here in Williams County, Garrett and Fort Wayne in Indiana, Defiance, and Cleveland in Ohio, and Oklahoma. He has extra looms for others to use.
Dewille not only gives mats and pillows to homeless men and women, but also gives two-man tents, foot warmers, gloves, personal care items, socks and an MP3 Bible. Alpha Mu members donated money and personal care items to Dewille’s Mat Weaver’s Ministry as part of its October Altruism for AK month.
With about one and one-half million homeless in the U. S. and a third of them veterans, he sees his ministry as an intervention rather than a solution.
He has helped many people find jobs and get off the streets, and is very gratified to hear of their success stories. Dewille is also thankful for all the community support he receives.