Thanks to the Mighty Masks Makers of St. Luke’s, over 700—yes, 700! masks have been made and distributed far and wide. Truly many have been covered in caring by this effort. Please enjoy these reflections and pictures from some of them.
"Being able to make masks for healthcare professionals and others during this pandemic has helped me feel connected to solutions rather than dwelling in helplessness. Sewing has always been a chance for me to slow down and focus on a creative task. It can sometimes be prayerful-- except when a needle breaks or the thread gets tangled up! Finding our way through these frightening and unsure times demands that we all do our part. Mask making is one way for me to give back and give thanks for our common life together.
Also, I just remembered a funny story from when I first called BR General about donating masks. The staff person in charge of accepting donations said, "I had no idea so many people knew how to sew!"
"When faced with uncertain times such as these, I think each of us asks, "What can I do to help?" We look for ways to offer our gifts - our time, our talent, our treasure - to make a difference. For some of us, that has taken the physical form of these masks, made with care and sent out into the community to help protect our loved ones, our neighbors, and strangers alike. Each completed mask means one more person helped, one additional opportunity to stop the spread.
For me, each of the 84 masks made has also been one more joyful memory revisited, as all of the fabric I've used so far has been remnants from past sewing projects - birthday outfits for my kiddos, quilts for friend's new babies, cheesy matching Disney outfits from past vacations. Each mask has been made with thankfulness for so many reasons - the ability to create, the time to reflect, the opportunity to help.
I'm using the scraps left when no more masks can be cut from each fabric to make a quilt, tacking on a few odd pieces when I can to serve as a tangible reminder of this time when we came together by being apart, serving how we could from where we were. I look forward to when we can gather again, and I hope that these masks help get us closer to that day."
So many masks!
Masks can be fun!
"Since I had plenty of time on my hands, I was looking for ways to help those who help others. Becky Williams gave me a perfect avenue to do that by sewing masks through the church to distribute to health workers, in addition to those in our Parish who needed them. This led me to a discussion with a fellow parishioner, Michael Hooks, who is the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at LSU. Through him I also was able to make masks for the gown making operation on the floor of the PMAC that LSU was implementing. I made and donated 48 masks to this amazing project."
"I’m really enjoying making masks, as it gives me very worthwhile projects to do during this stay at home time. In particular, I have sent 2 masks to New York, 2 to St Croix, 3 to Bogalusa, and 1 to Atlanta, along with the ones given locally. I am thankful for being lead to be a part of this ministry."
"My wife, Phyllis, has made a total of 200 masks for adults and children and distributed them to hospitals, pharmacies, small business owners, friends and family, and dealerships. It gave her a great sense of pride to help others in the prevention of this deadly pandemic."
"This has truly been a life-saving effort by so many, and it is humbling to see people give of their talent and time and treasure. I often think of the “Greatest Generation” members, who were so very creative with their resources during a time when their world, too, was turned upside-down, and how, in some ways, we have gone back to that time also…making things work, making things last, making do, and learning to share and care in new ways. Making these masks has made me feel connected to that generation in a special way, and to bring to life the lessons they taught in what we are now experiencing."
The dining room at the Williams's home
Besides the sewists, others have contributed their time by transporting masks and supplies, inspiring people to donate fabric, and as well as financial donations. Thank you all for making this truly life-saving endeavor possible!
Becky Williams, RN, with testimonials from contributors as indicated