Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Lutheran ‘holy rollers’

Phyllis Parsons (left) and Thelma Monson, both members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church (ELCA), Minneapolis, are able to spend time in fellowship as they roll bandages for Global Health Ministries. Metro Lutheran photo: Bob Hulteen

The need for bandages in hospitals in the Developing World is great. Access is limited or expensive.

Enter a group of women who live at the 7500 York Cooperative in Edina and are members at Bethlehem Lutheran Church (ELCA), in Minneapolis. For the fourth year as part of Bethlehem’s Day of Service, this group of women has spent a day rolling bandages that Global Health Ministries will distribute to hospitals in Tanzania, Nigeria, India, or other countries where they are needed.

“Each hospital needs several thousand rolls,” explained Mary Ann Matson, organizer of the effort. In April, 25 women at 7500 York made 275 rolls. They decided to do this “annual event” again in May, and 16 women were involved.

The bandages are made by ripping sheets that are donated from area hotels once they are no longer usable there. “We have plenty of very white sheets just from these hotel donations,” Matson said.

A group of women from Bethlehem Lutheran Church (ELCA), Minneapolis, gathered at 7500 York to prepare bandages for hospitals in Tanzania and other foreign countries. Metro Lutheran photo: Bob Hulteen

Once the sheets are ripped in four-inch strips, and the loose threads are pulled off, groups of two roll the strips onto a spool, using simple machines built by men living in the housing cooperative. These rolls are then shipped to the hospitals.

Bud and Claire Hesterman, longtime volunteers with Global Health Ministries, stopped by 7500 York to thank the women for their devoted service to those individuals in need across the globe.

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