Spring is often filled with outdoor activities, graduations, and planting flowers, but this year was unique as the La Pine community started making emergency masks instead. A Facebook group called Central Oregon Emergency Masks was started once it was realized masks were going to be needed to protect workers in the medical field and caregiving facilities. A pattern was sent out to the group from St. Charles with several versions. A YouTube video helped people that have never sewed learn how to make these masks.
Quilters and sewers quickly came to the rescue of our local care providers. Diana Hergenrader, Executive Director for Heart ‘n Home Hospice, states “I had no worries when I saw the urgent request for fabric masks for front line staff at one of our local businesses. I knew our Volunteers could “get it done.” These Volunteers have put in many hours sewing to help our community stay healthy. We definitely have MASK-MAKER HEROES in La Pine. “
Barbara Brown, one of the mask creators, had a stash of fabric for future quilting projects. “I have all the quilting supplies to make, measure, cut and sew with matching thread.” Brown says, “it took me a while to get into the groove of assembly line production. I figured it out and have seen 2am a few nights to keep up with demand.”
“I had supplies and my machine was begging for something to do,” says Jackie Koiski. “There is nothing unique about my masks except each one is a labor of love and I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.”
A mother daughter team has spent well over 40 hours creating and distributing masks. Tammy and Jamie Murphy have been making adult and kids masks. “It has been a lot of fun to do with my daughter to keep us busy and feeling like we are making a difference. We wear our masks when we go out for necessary trips.”
Kathee Young was going to send her masks to Bend, but when she found that there was a need in La Pine, she reached out to local businesses and distributed them around town. “We need the masks here in our community to help keep people safe.” Young says, “I am only one person, and I can only do so much.” When our entire community comes together on a project like this, we are all winners.
Our Volunteers are serving in so many ways In Baker City, we have Volunteers who are picking flowers from their yard and making arrangements for our patients since they can’t get their normal flower deliveries. In La Grande, we had Volunteers spread fake flowers in the lawns of local facilities in an effort to spread a little sunshine to patients who are not able to leave their facilities. In Fruitland and Emmett, Heart ‘n Home employees and Volunteers decorated their cars and made signs to carry during “parades” to local facilities spreading cheer and encouragement to all. Many of our Volunteers are making cards or making phone calls to help patients combat loneliness and to let them know they are loved.
At Heart ‘n Home we have selfless Volunteers who serve their communities in numerous ways. Right now when they aren’t able to make personal visits they have been thinking outside the box and they continue to serve others. If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference visit our website goHOSPICE.com.