Airline pilot Kimberly Osborn was at her home in South Carolina when she saw a Facebook post from a high school friend asking for donations of cloth masks for health-care centers in Northern Colorado.
A graduate of Loveland High School, Osborn called her mother Susan Osborn to tell her about the post. Susan, 76, is a retired kindergarten teacher from Carrie Martin Elementary School. A longtime sewer and quilter, Kimberly knew she would jump at the chance to put her skills to work to help fight the coronavirus.
A cancer survivor who had a previous bout with pneumonia, Susan has been instructed by her doctor to be careful going outside because of her age and medical history. Luckily, she didn’t need to leave her house to get sewing supplies.
The basement of Susan’s house has been full to the brim with sewing supplies for years, with six or seven sewing machines and bolts and bolts of fabric.
“She could open up her own Joann’s store,” Kimberly said.
Kimberly said she and her late father always used to laugh about how much sewing equipment Susan had, but all the supplies came in handy when she was able to assemble everything she needed to make masks without having to step out of her house.
“Something we always teased her about turned out to be a huge blessing,” Kimberly said.
Susan immediately got to work, and by the end of the day on Saturday had already made 40 masks.
“Being retired and living alone I can sew as long as I want to, so it’s worked out,” she said.
Susan said that she first started sewing as a girl, making doll’s clothes with her mom. In non-pandemic times, she makes pajamas for her grandchildren and makes quilts and baby clothes that she donates.
The masks will be donated to health clinics in the area so that disposable masks can be saved for hospitals.
Erin Roe, who graduated with Kimberly in Loveland High’s class of ’99, made the initial Facebook post. Roe works in the health-care industry, and while she said her own place of employment does not need supplies, she has been collecting masks and other equipment for other health-care facilities because she wants to give back to the Loveland community.
Cloth masks do not offer the protection against the coronavirus that medical-grade N95 masks do, but they can prevent the spread of germs. With widespread shortages of protective personal equipment, health-care facilities are working to preserve N95 masks to treat COVID-19 patients.
Susan said that sewing masks has been relaxing for her. She’s been taking social distancing in stride, going for walks and having conversations with her neighbors from a distance. It’s nice being able to do something helpful, she said.
“It’s a good feeling to know that sewing skills can be used in a situation like this,” she said.
Anyone who is interested in making masks or in donating other supplies to health facilities can reach out to Erin Roe at 970-690-3231.
- Public health expert warns virus not going away – KSAT San Antonio
- Tesla asks employees to resume production at Fremont car plant despite coronavirus health orders – CNBC
- Major health groups and charities urge Trump to reverse World Health Organization funding decision – CNN
- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
- Covid-19 health-care crisis could drive new developments in robotics, editorial says – The Washington Post
- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso