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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Community rallies to make masks and caps for healthcare providers

by Sylene Argent With the Coronavirus urging people to keep a safe social distance, a number of volunteers have found a way to assist frontline healthcare workers from the comfort of their own homes.   Kimberly DeYong, a Councillor for the Town of Kingsville, recently coordinated a network of crafters, who are using their sewing skills, to create masks and caps to keep healthcare workers safe as they continue to provide care to those who need it.   DeYoung said the initiative started with a social media post she recently shared that was originally posted by a local nurse, who works at Windsor Regional Hospital with COVID-19 patients. The nurse made a request out to the community for caps for her unit. DeYoung said, in addition to just sharing the post on her own social media page, she offered to pick up and deliver any caps and masks made and deliver them to those in need. “The community response has been amazing,” she said. “I’ve been facilitating requests and donations of scrub caps and face masks for healthcare workers in our hospitals and long-term care facilities.” She has also received fabric donations for the cause.      “A lot of people wanted to help. I hope to, one day, meet them. So far, I have met their door steps,” DeYoung said, noting all pick-up and deliveries are made with no contact. Items are left on door steps so everyone can keep safe. Around 50 local seamstresses from Essex, Kingsville, and Leamington, many of whom are using their own fabric, have contributed hundred of caps and masks to this network in its first two-weeks. Some of those volunteers, she said, can whip up ten items in a day and others can make the same amount in a week. She is grateful for everyone’s contributions.   “Many told me that it is giving them a sense of purpose through this and that they are happy to be able to contribute. For myself, I’m off my day job for now, and, so it seems like the least I can do to serve the community and the workers that are serving us during this difficult and challenging time,” DeYoung said. The caps and masks have been dropped off at a variety of facilities, including to nurses and at hospital and hospice facilities, in addition to the unit at Windsor Regional Hospital that originally requested them. DeYoung encourages any facility that would like to get some homemade caps and masks to contact her at Individuals working out in the public, such as truck drivers, are also urged to contact her if they would like a mask. A local crafter reached out to the Essex Free Press to note she and three of her friends meet weekly to work on their own craft projects. Since the pandemic is keeping them from meeting up, they decided to set aside their own projects to participate in the mask and cap making initiative to support local frontline healthcare workers.

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