Masking the Vulnerable

If there is anything positive to come from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the way groups of people have stepped up to help those in need. Often, these groups spring from concerned and committed citizens, not professional organizations. One such community is a sewing guild in Alberta, Canada. Random Acts Regional Representative Kristen Desjarlais-deKlerk stepped in to donate funds for materials the guild turned into masks for locals in need.

a stack of fabric meant to be made into masksTucking Away Quilts for Masks

The sewing guild, led by Melanie David, originally formed as a group of quilters. However, with the pandemic, they tucked away their quilts and turned their attention to making fabric masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Masks are in high demand, and many of those in need of masks may not have sewing machines or cannot find fabric to make their own. That is where community mask-makers come in. Most mask-makers have been donating their wares to first responders and essential workers, and the sewing guild is no exception. After donating masks to homeless shelters, however, the sewing guild saw an additional need: children. The group put out a call to single mothers, knowing that their children will most likely have to accompany the parents on essential errands. The guild is offering to make masks for the mothers and their children to make errands as safe as possible.

Making the Most of Limited Funding

Despite receiving discounts on materials from local stores, the members of the sewing guild are still paying out of pocket for supplies. Because each member is making twenty masks each day, the cost of supplies continuously grows. Kristen saw their dedication and need, and she decided to help by donating funds to purchase mask supplies. After donating, Kristen shared that she is “glad to have found a project helping our city at multiple levels; through organizations and helping individuals.”

Interested in helping your own community by making masks? Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s pattern for mask-making here. Or, to find other ways to foster kindness, check with your Random Acts Regional Representative for opportunities near you.