“Early last week, I received a call from my daughter, who is a physical therapist at a local hospital, telling me they were running low on face masks. My other daughter, also a physical therapist in home health, also mentioned they were very low on masks. Then shortly after that conversation, Pastor Dan (Christ Lutheran Church in Preston, Minn.) shared a post on the church Facebook page about Deaconess asking volunteers to sew fabric face masks. I thought I could sew masks! I have this plethora of fabric and knowledge about sewing. This is a chance to channel my energy for good. I mean it was either sitting at home stressing or doing something and I’m a do-something person,” shared an inspired Carol Solberg.
After doing some research online, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she began sewing masks. After sewing a few masks, the figured there may be others in the church congregation who would want to sew masks, so she contacted Mary Zimmerman, a skilled quilter, and Cheryl Shumacher, who serves on the Christ’s Care Team at the church. Together they spread the word asking the congregation for masks or materials to make masks.
Carol Solberg of Preston, Minn., usually spends five to six hours a day sewing masks. She can crank out about 15 to 20 masks per day.
“We have set up a container at Christ Lutheran Church in Preston for donation of supplies. We are mainly asking for 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch elastic, as these are in short supply. Most people who sew have an extra fabric stash. There is also a container to drop off the face masks,” said Solberg.
According to Carol, these masks do not offer 100% protection from any bacteria or virus. They act as a barrier or a supplement.
In Lanesboro, Minn., Cheryl Lamon, owner of Cheryl’s Fabric Garden, is doing her part to sew face masks, as well. “The reason I started is because a friend of mine, Tracy, asked me to make some masks for a friend of hers, Bridgett, who is a nurse in need of masks,” said Cheryl. “Then word got out as to what we were doing and more people called me for masks and we just kept going for people who contacted us. Recipients have been local, along with River Falls, Wis., and Minneapolis, Minn. Everyone who has asked for masks, have either been friends or people who know my friends.”
Along with Chery’s friends May Himlie, from Lanesboro, and Andrea Meilisch, from Rushford, they have worked diligently to produce face masks to keep up with the demand.
Through her store, Cheryl has donated interfacing and elastic to local people who are also making masks.
Even if people can’t sew, they can help by providing materials to Carol Solberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those requesting face masks, Cheryl Lamon can be reached at (507) 467-4466.