Plarn (Mercy Mat) Ministry



The plarn ministry began as part of our parish Lenten project in 2023.  Parishioners have continued to dedicate their time and efforts to continuing this ministry.  How can you help? Find out below!

For more information, please contact Janice in the parish office, parish@stmattoc.org, or 414-762-4200 ext. 120.


What are plarn mats? 

Plarn mats or mercy mats are sleeping mats made out of plastic grocery shopping bags.  The mats are used by those experiencing homelessness to protect their sleeping bag or box from the elements.

How can I make a mat, or contribute to the plarn making process?

We are happy to have help in any of the various stages of plarn-making. Is crocheting not your gift? No problem! We welcome help with any of the following steps.

A full tutorial on how to make plarn and mercy mats is available on this YouTube link and on these step by step instructions.

  • Collecting plastic bags from grocery stores (No Sendiks or thicker plastic bags, please), and bringing them to the parish.
  • Cutting the plastic bags into four strips
  • Looping the cut strips and creating a "plarn ball"
  • Crocheting the mats--see the links above for additional information and step by step instructions.


Where do I drop off my plastic bags/loops/plarn ball, or completed mat?

Please drop off your items to the south wing office. We will take care of dropping off the mats to the agencies.