It’s a “Sew-a-Thon” at St. Andrews Estates in Boca Raton, Florida. What started with five residents has grown into a labor of love with about 20 residents working together to sew more than a thousand masks.
Resident Carole Stephens spearheaded this incredible team effort to ensure the safety of employees and residents while outfitting them with "the prettiest masks in Boca." Retired nurses researched and created several designs, picking the best option for safety. A large assortment of colorful fabric was provided by generous donations within the community. Residents even created a "design team" to pick out the best color combinations. Each volunteer has a specific role in this massive sewing operation with designated duties to align with her or his interests. A retired banker is in charge of the masks' distribution and delivery.
"I must be honest, continuing to smile has been a difficult task during these trying past few weeks. However, when I walk the campus and see the residents and staff wearing your stylish creations, smiling becomes very easy," said Terie Davisson, the Administrative Nurse Navigator at St. Andrews Estates.
Davisson said the fashionable, efficient and comfortable masks have "certainly been the lifeline" for compliance with the community's mask wearing policy. "Enforcing this policy would have been difficult and I must say, extremely boring without these volunteers' expert organizational skills and steadfast commitment, talent and creativity. For all of this and more, our entire community is immensely grateful and proud of their accomplishments."
The group is offering the masks to residents with a $5 donation to help support Acts Samaritan Fund. They are now getting requests for child-sized masks for family and friends of residents and employees. They are currently creating child-size samples out for field testing.
"Our 'Mask Making Angels' are truly amazing," said resident Phyllis Bailey, "I can’t imagine how depressing it would have been to walk the halls and see nothing but utilitarian masks. You have lifted our spirits as well."