More than a dozen women in Central Maine are putting their sewing skills to good use by making face masks, which are currently in short supply due to the coronavirus pandemic.
June Cauldwell has been sewing since the seventh grade. She makes dresses, costumes and quilts from her Mount Vernon home, and as of this week, face masks.
“It just gives me a purpose in this time of being isolated from one another,” Cauldwell said.
Cauldwell heard about the short supply and growing need across the country.
What started as a simple idea just a few days ago, is now an organized effort with nearly 20 women at work.
“It’s very exciting because it kind of reminds me of women way back in World War I and World War II, when the soldiers needed socks and washcloths and they just started knitting and sending these things out,” Cauldwell said.
The masks have three layers of fabric, and are evolving to include a pocket that can hold a carbon or HEPA filter.
They’re bright, fun and reusable.
“They’re going to go to the rescue in town, maybe the fire department if they run out of masks,” Cauldwell said. “And this morning I had a request from midwives.”
Pat Rawson, the local rescue director, tells CBS 13 the department has a very limited supply of N-95 masks, so these are a huge help. Rawson said some of their members can use them, and they can also put them on sick patients.
Cauldwell is turning out about a dozen a day.
“We’re just going to be here making them and whoever wants them can have them,” Cauldwell said.
She said they won’t quit until the coronavirus does.
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“It may expand because other people want to make gowns, and they can,” Cauldwell said. “They can do anything. Just go to YouTube.”
If you can’t sew, you can still help by donating materials, like vacuum bags, or money so the women can purchase more.
To request masks, or lend a hand, contact Cauldwell at 207-931-8012 or email@example.com