Making masks, making a difference

Making masks, making a difference

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - There are countless unsung heroes during the coronavirus pandemic. People who just decided to do what’s right and not seek out any attention for it. We found one such group, and decided they deserve our highest honors.

Tammy Selby, Felecia Jones, Liza Dugal, Nancy Grubbs and Ann Canady are five of the 500 members of a local Facebook group, dedicated to sewing masks during this troubled time. They meet up once a week, keeping their distance in a public parking lot in Huntsville, to swap material, tips and finished masks. Some of the members are experienced seamstresses... others have never done anything like this before. But together, they’re making it work.

“I’m a retired nurse, so I understood the need of frontline workers. I had a lot of material because I was a seamstress.” said Grubbs. “It was an opportunity to use my material and do something from people I knew needed it.”

The mask makers show off their latest batch
The mask makers show off their latest batch (Source: WAFF)

Most arts & crafts stores that stock mask material closed in March, and the big box stores that were left open sold out quickly. The group had to get creative. Some used old denim, others had left over material from making drapes years ago, and one tore apart old bed sheets to get that rare commodity - elastic. “My grandmother was a great teacher, so was my mother. They came up through the Great Depression and never threw anything away." Canaday says.

Selby keeps track of everything in a well-worn spiral notebook - there’s no time to put it on a computer spreadsheet right now. On Saturday, the group celebrated a milestone - 5,000 masks! Each locally made, by hand, and given away free to anyone who needs it.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.