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Think Outside the Bag

Think Outside the Bag

By: Susan Naslund

“You can gauge the limitations of a person’s life by the size of the problems that get him or her down. You can measure the impact a person’s life has by the size of the problems he or she solves.”
– Jeff Olson

To protect residents at Mt. Miguel Covenant Village during COVID-19, daily meal service in the dining room has taken a temporary hiatus. It was a blow to those living at the senior living community in Spring Valley who love the ritual of eating and talking together over a good plate of food. Instead, dinners are now carefully prepared in the kitchen and delivered in paper bags to each apartment in the village – all 240 of them.

It didn’t take long for those bags to pile up, and residents wondered what to do with the brown sacks. Rev. Martha Kogle, who lives at the village with her husband, Gerald, set her mind to solving the problem and quickly made a connection.

“Say, could you use some paper bags at the Bethlehem Food Pantry?” Martha asked over the phone. Shortly thereafter, the pantry was thrilled to receive dozens and dozens of “Dubl Life” paper bags. The bags are easier to open and have more structure which makes the packing process more efficient than when using plastic bags. They are free. And, best of all, they are made of 100% recycled materials and are reusable. (By the way, we think renaming them “Tripl Life” bags would be a good idea.)

With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, it doesn’t look like the dining room at Mt. Miguel will be re-opening any time soon. So, Martha has recruited Don Jenkinson to make regular deliveries to the Good Shepherd Ministry Center to keep the pantry well-stocked with bags, and we are grateful.

Martha has always been a person who solves problems – both large and small. We give thanks for the many ways she has positively impacted our lives.

Note: Every Friday morning, a team of volunteers gathers to stuff the bags for Saturday morning food distributions – all 240 of them. You read that right. The number of bags we prepare is the exact same number as the apartments at Mt. Miguel Covenant Village.

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