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Masks of love
Several seamstresses DeKalb County were busy over the weekend making masks for our local medical staffs. Martha Melching and adorable daughter/assistant models their masks while taking a break from sewing all afternoon.
Terry Caldwell, Family and Community Education member was one of the first to join this project.

While some of us may be experiencing boredom and loss of purpose due to the self-quarantine efforts, there is a new group of good-hearted and crafty volunteers that are working around the clock to sew face masks for our healthcare community.

“This idea began just a few days ago, and we already have so many people involved.“ said April Martin of UT Extension, “I saw the need on social media, and we had taught sewing classes through UT Extension in the past, so I knew the talent was already in our community. This began as a family community education club project (FCE), but quickly partnered with Saint Thomas Regional Volunteer Services to help it grow and connect  from one county, to upcoming state-wide participation.”

“The volunteers are working within CDC guidelines, avoiding groups and sewing  everything at home by individuals or families in quarantine.” said Shan Williams Stout of Saint Thomas Regional Volunteer Services, “We are reaching out to other volunteer groups across the state to grow participation. We hope that all of the masks will not be needed, and that Tennessee grows less impacted due to everyone’s self-quarantine efforts. These sewn masks would not replace N95 masks, but would help by adding an additional outer layer to hopefully aid in the extended use of each mask if supplies start to grow thin.”

“We currently have an adequate supply of N95 masks at our regional hospitals,” said Chana Roller, Area Director of Implementation for The Resource Group | Saint Thomas Health, “but we are actively calling local businesses, construction companies, and any other sources to request any donations of N95 masks, gloves, goggles, or Tyvek painters coveralls to help in our preparedness efforts. If you would like to donate these (new) items, please drop them off at the delivery dock behind Saint Thomas DeKalb, or call or text (931) 273-6901 to make other arrangements.”

For more information on how you can help, join the FaceBook Group “Masks of Love”.