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Enactus Hosts Michaels Milk Bags at Loyalist

By: Sam Normand
Courtesy of Gentleman’s Campus [1]


(15/01/2013) Michael Perry Jr. and his mother Julie Thomas sit on a mat made from discarded milk bags. Michaels Milk Bags weaves the mats from bags to create beddings for disaster victims.

They say don’t cry over spilled milk, and last night at the cafeteria the mood was anything but sad.

Michael’s Milk Bags, a project started by five-year-old Michael Perry Jr., came to Loyalist last night as part of a partnership with Enactus Loyalist, a student organization that helps develop community outreach programs, to show how to weave old milk bags into beds for disaster victims.

According to Michaels mother, it all started at Sunday school in 2011.

Michael was attending a presentation at St. Peter’s Church. Parish nurse Karen Li told her students how milk bags could be woven to create beddings for disaster victims. Michael immediately took an interest, and the project grew quickly.

“Michael said ‘Mom, I want to do that.” and that’s how it started,” said mother Julie Thomas. “We started just by collecting milk bags. He went to his day care and asked them to collect, he went to his uncle’s work, and his aunt’s work, and his dad’s work. Then he started making boxes.”

Michael’s Milk Bags has several drop boxes placed around the Northumberland area where people can drop off unwanted milk bags. To date, mare than 10,000 bags have been collected for the project.

It takes about 257 bags to make a full 61×41 inch mat, and the process is quit time consuming. Certain bags are better than others for crocheting according to Michael. For instance, the elasticity of Reids Dairy bags makes them easier to work with.

The beddings are great for disaster victims because the plastic gives off a smell that deters insects and snakes, while being surprisingly comfortable.

The project has since become partnered with Enactus, an international organization that works to develop community outreach projects that increase quality of life.

The Green Implementation Department is a sub-group of Enactus that developed environmentally friendly outreach projects. They invited Michaels Milk bags to come and make a presentation at the college.