People who never thought they would pick up a needle and thread or sit at a sewing machine are doing just that, here in Cheatham County and beyond, to help make masks during the coronavirus outbreak.
While most hospitals say their supplies are okay for now, many shipments from China have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 illness. Local veterans, business owners, and hospital workers themselves are carefully cutting squares of fabric and creating masks.
Maria Latham, owner of Maria Latham Photography, said she took up the sewing work to help lighten the load for the medical professionals who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day. “The health care workers are doing what they can to make a difference, and I’m doing what I can to make a difference,” Latham said.
She has made about 80 masks so far and hopes to make about 100 more. Neighbors have donated materials and funds to help her. “It’s a community effort. People dig into their stashes of elastic and thread and drop it off on my porch or mail it to me,” Latham said.
John Otis Nichols, a Vietnam veteran, said he, too, felt a sense of duty in taking up this important sewing project. “It’s all about us as Americans doing the right thing, to protect ourselves and our neighbors,” Nichols said. “We as individuals can help hospitals out by not needing the same equipment they need,” he said.
A Nashville hospital employee, Jessica Carnahan, said she has been sewing masks and recruiting others here in Cheatham County and neighboring counties to help after she had to use a mask all day long. Carnahan saw posts on social media about concerns that medical supplies might run out. “I was posting about it until I had a flood of people joining in to help make them, donating materials and other items, helping cut materials so I could sew faster. And the response from my co-workers after bringing in the masks was unanimous. The relief and happiness they showed was amazing,” Carnahan said.
You can help out too, by checking out these helpful links:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center: https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/how-donate-hand-sewn-face-masks
JoAnn Fabrics: https://www.joann.com/make-to-give-response/