Parishioners Give Back

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Sacred Heart Church parishiners ‘give back’ by making mats for the homeless out of plastic shopping bags.

Good Works

Sacred Heart Catholic Church is a community of faith-driven Grosse Ile residents dedicated to giving back to those around them whether that’s through their food pantry or an outreach sewing program. One thing they’re doing to help the homeless though is pretty unique.

Back in 2011, Reverend Michael Molnar went down to visit his sister in Florida when he found out that her church was making mats for homeless people to sleep on.

The mats were made from grocery bags and old tablecloths, and Reverend Molnar liked the idea so much that he suggested it to his own church, and after learning quickly on YouTube, some ladies in the Parish began to make mats of their own.

Now, about 20 ladies from the church meet every Monday in order to make the mats and socialize. One of these women, Marsha Pizzo, has been making mats since the beginning.

The ladies that we meet with are just the nicest people in the world. Besides knowing you’re helping the homeless, it’s a real good feeling inside.

Marsha Pizzo

Pizzo lived in the community for 25 years but didn’t know anyone from the Parish before she started helping with the mats. Now she said she has friends for life.

Another woman who helps distribute the mats to the various places in the community is the Director of Christian Service Terry Morreau. Morreau takes the mats to places like homeless shelters, train stations and Spirit of Hope, a community center in Detroit.

“They’re always so grateful. We always get a thank you,” Morreau said. “We don’t want it. We don’t need it, but they always feel like they have to say thank you.”

One church, St. Aloysius in Detroit, actually sent the mat makers a letter thanking them for their donation of mats for their neighborhood services. In the letter, they mention that the homeless people that come to the ministry love “these useful and comfortable mats.” 

All together, the ladies have made around 400 mats over the span of seven years, and they don’t look like they’re slowing down at all.

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