Members make a difference by making masks
AMS members Michelle Warrington and Kalpa Patel, along with her daughter, Reva, 11, have found a way to fight back against the COVID-19 crisis. They are all dedicating many hours to sewing masks to donate to the Rochester community.
“I saw the need, and so I decided to volunteer my time,” said Kalpa. ”I have covered my face when I have had cold-like symptoms even prior to COVID with a scarf or gaiter, so it is something I believe in. It does not help protect me but helps me protect others.”
Michelle discovered the need for masks early on in the outbreak. “It must have been in the first week of March, we had been following Italian news and realized that there was a shortage of masks,” she said.
So she went to Pinterest to find a pattern and sewed her first mask. “It was then that I realized that I could actually contribute to the community by making masks and donating them,” she said. “When I shared this with my neighbors, they started donating fabric and supplies, so I had a bigger reason to make and donate masks.”
Receiving donated materials has continued to be important to motivate both Michelle and the Patels. Donated materials also help save them time, especially since items like elastic are now in short supply.
“Getting donated material keeps my daughter and myself motivated to make more,” said Kalpa. “It is helpful to get donations or even volunteers who can go pick up material from Joann or who can search for elastic when it gets available on different websites. It takes me a good hour to look for elastic, believe it or not.”
In order to help support the efforts of Kalpa, Michelle and a few other AMS members who are making masks, AMS is hosting a Fabric Donation Drive. Donations of any of the following would be greatly appreciated:
-100 percent cotton fabric (Quilter’s Showcase fabric preferred but any cotton will work)
-Ribbon hair ties and larger elastic hair ties
-Elastic, ¼ inch preferred, but slightly bigger or smaller will work.
To donate, contact AMS Vice President Bernadetta Elder at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will collect and distribute the items. If you are also making masks to donate to the community and are in need of materials, please let Bernadetta know.
So far the Patels have donated about 100 masks to a few friends and to Mayo Clinic. They have about 100 more almost finished just waiting to add the elastic, which is expected to arrive in mail this week. Michelle has lost track of how many she has donated so far to OMC, Mayo Clinic, friends and neighbors.
While donated materials are a big help, the seamstresses are determined to keep sewing, even without them.
“Even if we do not get material, we will still keep making,” said Kalpa.