Here’s a model option for churches and other groups to help in the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes from the UCC’s Indiana-Kentucky Conference, which is challenging its congregations to make cloth face masks for healthcare facilities in their communities that are short on personal protective equipment.
The Indiana-Kentucky Conference’s face mask program was initiated by the conference’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry Team. Greg Denk is Conference Disaster Coordinator.
One person who has truly risen to the challenge is Jenna Ross (pictured), 13, of St. Peter’s and Trinity UCC in Lamar, Ind. She has now made around 350 face masks – and counting!
Jenna’s masks are going to several different healthcare facilities in her community. A recent batch went to Crossroads Child & Family Services, Inc., in Ft. Wayne, Ind., a partner with the UCC conference.
Indiana-Kentucky Conference Minister the Rev. Chad Abbott talked with Jenna about the project just before Holy Week. See their conversation in this Facebook video: https://www.facebook.com/IKCUCC/videos/262800114741691/
Denk said, “With COVID-19 spreading in the U.S. at an alarming rate, there is much concern for our health care workers. The shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) at the hospitals, nursing homes, etc. has presented us an opportunity to make a difference in protecting those who are caring for us. Would you consider making cloth face masks for your community’s health care personnel?”
He points prospective face mask makers to:
1) The many websites providing information on how and what materials to use to make the cloth face masks, including a video from an Indiana hospital, and patterns on Craft Passion's website. The Centers for Disease Control also have face mask "how tos."
2) The importance of carefully determining where you want to take your masks. Be sure the facility you select has a need. Also, be sure to speak with their staff to determine if they have certain criteria for making the masks.