UKirk Faith in Action reaches out to homeless in Huntington

Members of UKirk and the Marshall University community gathered in the Campus Christian Center Tuesday to participate in UKirk’s monthly Faith in Action mission night.

The night consisted of making “plarn,” or plastic yarn, which was used to create sleeping mats that will be donated to the homeless.

“There has been this movement lately to take this plastic yarn and crochet it into reusable mats for the homeless,” said Claire Butler, UKirk campus minister. “The reason why they recommend mats like this for the homeless is that, especially this time of year when the weather is starting to get colder, it gets more difficult for the homeless to sleep outside and shelters begin to increase their numbers, so sometimes cots aren’t available.”

Butler said plastic grocery bags are used to create the plarn, making the sleeping mats washable and easily transportable.

“They can be rinsed off if they get dirty and they’re light and easy for them to carry, much easier to carry than a typical camping mat or sleeping bag, because they can be rolled up,” Butler said.

While members of the UKirk ministry organized the event, any student on campus is welcome to attend mission nights.

“I’m not from a Presbyterian family, but anyone can come to this group,” said junior Talena Justice, president of UKirk. “It definitely relieves stress and gives you an opportunity to get to know each other better. We’re really close-knit because it’s a small group, so it creates an environment where you can sit down and have a casual conversation with somebody.”

Butler said future Faith in Action mission nights will include activities such as making shoes for Sole Hope and making burritos for the Huntington Burrito Riders, who donate food to the homeless.

Butler said the group plans to donate their sleeping mats through a local shelter.

Olivia Zarilla can be contacted at [email protected]