At times like this, it’s great to see the Ivy Tech community supporting one another when we need it most. Two members of our Ivy Tech staff Jasmine Moore and Loretta Day, are doing their part by making face masks for their local healthcare facilities and other organizations.
As coronavirus, (COVID-19) progresses, Indiana healthcare facilities are facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, (PPE). Moore, Director of Statewide Testing Services, thought one way she could help was to use her sewing skills and donate face masks for healthcare workers.
“If I know I can do something to help, I usually do. For making the masks, I knew it required also a general skill set of operating a sewing machine and cutting fabric, etc. which I know how to do,” Moore said.
Loretta Day, Director of Development for the Ivy Tech Foundation, has two nieces in the healthcare field and was concerned for their health and safety while they’re at work. Her nieces are mothers of young children, but they weren’t considered as “frontline risk” for any type of protective mask. This is what pushed Day to lend a helping hand to not only her loved ones, but also the whole community. Day remembered, “I had seen a mask pattern online that a hospital put out with a request for homemade masks. My husband, Toby Day, and I immediately said we can do this!”
So far, Moore has produced masks on her own with some help from her older son. Luckily, she has a lot of spare fabric around her house so has had no problem with keeping materials stocked for her mask-making. Sharing her work on social media has led to the community reaching out to her to provide more materials.
“When I had posted to social media about the masks I had made and donated, many people wanted to donate monetary funds to help offset many of the out-of-pocket expenses I have had such as fabric, thread and elastic,” Moore said.
Day started sharing her face mask production on Facebook and people were thrilled and inspired by what she was doing. She received requests from everyone from healthcare workers to elderly loved ones. Because of how serious the demand was for PPE and she knew she was going to need to make more masks.
“One person who reached out to us was Executive Director of HR, Julie Murphy. She was looking to have a mask made for her daughter, Ivy Tech student Delaney Murphy, who is an aid at the local hospital. As soon as we delivered the mask Julie said she was on board to help however she could and even learned to sew in just two days,” Day said.
Moore has been working with Serve & Sew to help coordinate where the face masks can be donated. She’s been fulfilling requests for healthcare facilities near her community, places such as Putnam County Hospital in Greencastle and Cloverleaf Healthcare in Brazil. She’s also been receiving personal requests from other essential workers, and has shipped masks to out-of-state healthcare facilities as well.
Moore has produced 335 masks and plans to make many more in the coming weeks.
Day has also provided face masks to their local police department and Passage women’s shelter. Most of their donations have been given upon individual request. Between Day and Murphy’s families, they were able to produce 200 masks within 10 days.
“We are all so busy right now, but it’s so important we all do our part to help our community when we can,” Day said.