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Network Of Seamstresses Produce, Donate Hundreds Of Face Masks

VINEYARD, Utah — A network of seamstresses and volunteers in Vineyard came together to meet the demand for homemade coverings after the CDC recommended Americans wear cloth masks in public to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Marcella Hill and a group of seamstresses and volunteers have been busy producing hundreds of masks to help provide cover for first-responders and healthcare workers.

“My company, Love Woolies, (employs) mothers to work from home sewing accessories,” Hill said. “We already had elastic, we already had the seamstresses, we already had cutting tables, cutting mats and I thought, ‘we’re already set up to do this, we’re all in.’ Immediately my seamstresses said, ‘we’ll donate our time, and so for two weeks we shut down all of our manufacturing and they donated all their time and we made about 1,500 masks.”

Hill said her company connected with Sewing For Lives, an organization that directs mask and mask cover producers to those in need.

So far, Hill said her group has completed 500 fabric masks for memory care centers across the Wasatch Front, and also was sending masks to police in Salt Lake City, San Diego, Baltimore and New York.

“When you have nothing else to think about or nothing else to do, it can completely take over,” Hill said. “I think this has given some light and some hope, and we’re able to do something, to provide a need, and people are needed.”

Several women stopped by Hill’s house Friday evening to either pick up materials to make masks and mask components, or to drop off completed masks.

“This is a different fabric,” explained Michelle Sherwin as she combed through a bag of supplies. “I’m going to take it home and wash it, and then put it into 6 by 9 inch rectangles, and then I’ll bring them back here to Marcella’s and her people will sew them and put them together.”

In addition to Hill’s regular workers, she has enlisted numerous volunteers and continues to seek out additional volunteers to expand efforts.

Her company has also posted a tutorial online on how to make the masks and mask covers.

“We just want to help, we want to do something,” Hill said.

Hill acknowledged the economics of the operation meant that she had to start selling the fabric masks for $9 apiece in a buy one, give one deal.

“We can only give so much of our time and work for free, and I wanted to find a way to employ my girls again,” Hill said. “A lot of their husbands have lost their jobs, and I wanted to find a way to keep them employed.”

Hill said the effort has been rewarding in terms of making a difference for others.

“It feels like a war effort when I’m sitting in my basement and cutting fabric up from these little old grandmas that have given me their piles of fabric they’ve had for years,” Hill said. “Now I’m making them into protective gear.”

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