Residents Making Homemade Masks in Case of Shortage

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Personal protective equipment has been at a premium due to concerns over COVID-19. Several organizations have asked for spare masks, gloves, and more to be donated, in case shortages occur.

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

But some residents are going a step further and taking matters into their own hands.

“Necessity is the mother of invention and so we put together a workforce of about ten or more people and some of us have sewing machines right now, located in our offices and we are just pumping out those homemade masks for our staff,” said Sister Anthony Veilleux, assistant administrator at St. Patrick’s Residence.

St. Pat’s sewers are making about 50 homemade masks per day. There aren’t currently any coronavirus cases in their facility, and they hope the extra barrier of protection keeps it that way.


Other area seamsters are donating their creations to places like Edward Hospital.

“The response from the community has been overwhelming,” said Colin Dalough, Edward-Elmhurst Health’s manager of community and government affairs. “We’re receiving PPE such as N95 masks and hand sanitizer, People are also working in sewing circles to hand-sew emergency masks that can be used in the case that we run out of CDC-approved, commercially made PPE.”

Making Masks at Home

Many of those people working in sewing groups, like Donna Ehle, are avid sewers just looking to do their part. Ehle has donated masks to Edward Hospital as well as other residents who are at greater risk. But even if you can’t sew, you can still help out.

“This one lady when I put the plastic bag in the door, there were four packages of elastic for me, so that’s how she was able to return to me for these masks,” Ehle said. “Even if people don’t know how to sew, they’re still willing to sit there and help in some form.”

Slowing the spread, stitch by stitch.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.