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A member of the Fellowship Church displays a face mask.

Local church makes face masks for medical workers

A local church has found a practical way to serve the community during the ongoing pandemic. Seventy-five seamstresses from Fellowship Church, which has two locations in Raymore and Greenwood, are sewing face masks for health-care workers.

READ: People showing up in hospital parking lots to pray

When Barb Yerganian, who is an engineer and a veteran quilter, heard that some doctors and nurses were reduced to wearing plastic trash bags and re-using face masks, she knew she had to take action.

“I mean, that’s the way America is,” she said. “We roll up our sleeves and we do whatever we can to help.”

Nancy Douglas is another seamstress from Fellowship Church. “That is so important that we not give up and be paralyzed with fear, but figure out what you can do and do it,” she said.

The seamstresses are doing more than sewing two pieces of cloth together to make a face mask. They are people of faith sowing seeds of love and connecting with strangers in need. “Hopefully (health-care workers) receive these and realize they are thought of and that people do care,” Douglas said

Yerganian said her motivation is to show appreciation to the health-care workers.

“It’s gratitude that they are on the front lines and they give of themselves,” she said. “They are so giving. They have devoted their lives to saving lives, even putting theirs at risk.”

Some masks have filters and some don’t. They are not medical-grade personal protective equipment, but the seamstresses believe that something is better than nothing until the quality PPE is more widely available.

On Monday, 175 face masks made by the Fellowship Church sewing circle were delivered to a nursing home. Workers there were glad to get the masks. Yerganian and Douglas said they both pray over each mask as they’re making them.

Their efforts will be even more valuable as the official COVID-19 task force under President Trump advised American citizens to wear masks when out in public.

“We pray for safety and endurance for the health-care workers and their patients,” Yerganian said.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice