Photo taken at the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County Erie Shores Hospice campus.Left to right: Connie Nelson our Administrative Assistant at Erie Shores Hospice, Kate Kubis, Manager, Erie Shores Hospice (RN), Dawn Pears, Palliative Liaison Coordinator, Erie Shores Hospice.
The fight against COVID-19 takes an army, and in Kingsville a large platoon of sewists has formed to help with supplies.
A network of people have been bringing relief to community healthcare workers. Sewists of Kingsville have been creating masks, scrub caps and various other medical supplies in order to keep local healthcare workers stocked up on essentials.
With regular supply chains faltering due to the overwhelming demand for this necessary equipment, community members decided to take action and help supply the medical professionals of the area.They are using their skills and donated materials, or materials the sewists have purchased themselves.
Southgate Residence Retirement Home in Kingsville has received a box stuffed to the brim with masks from the Kingsville Sewists. Susan Davis, an employee at Southgate, says that supplies are in high demand.
“Surgical masks, we do have limited supplies on those,” said Davis.
“We only get so many. They’re used for the girls, and if a resident has to go for an appointment they have to use a surgical mask. But the cloth masks come in handy, especially for girls going shopping, or for going home in, or going out in public, because we have strict protocol.”
The sewists have sewn over 5,000 items all together, 1,350 scrub caps, 3,500 masks and 200 gowns.
“The first masks I made were sewn in response to a request for them from nurse friends who work in the United States,” Amy McMillan said.
McMillan is one of the Kingsville sewists responsible for 400 masks and a plethora of other sewn supplies.
“They had already run out of masks and needed some type of face covering. After that they were supplied with N95 masks, but used [cloth masks] over top to prolong the use, and also one for when they went grocery shopping to protect the public. After that I started getting requests for masks from long-term care homes and essential workers. Now a lot of other people are requesting, either because they are high risk or just so they can go out in public and protect other people.”
According to McMillan, depending on the pattern used, a mask can take from 15 to 25 minutes to sew.
“We’ve been overwhelmed [by community support], we’ve had drive-bys, we’ve had food delivered, flowers, it’s been very emotional. It’s nice for these girls to be recognized for the work that they do. We all pitch in if something needs to be done, it’s nice to see everybody pitching in,” said Davis.
“We’ve had a case of wine delivered for the residence of ours, cupcakes, gourmet cookies, pizza. The girls have been very thankful. It’s very overwhelming, a lot of the girls tear up. I’m tearing up talking about it. It’s fantastic that the community has come together to support the residence and us as well,” she said.
“I’d just like to thank the whole town for all the support, the goodies to the donations, the caps for the girls. It’s been fantastic.”
According to Davis, Southgate will accept any supplies people are willing to donate.
“I am happy to help people feel safer and reduce stress and anxiety, as well as help protect the general public,” said McMillan.
“During tough times like we are going through with this pandemic, it is amazing to see our community come together. So many people have donated fabric or done deliveries to help get masks to people who need them.”
A Facebook group, MASKS4ALL Amherstburg/Windsor Essex County is also dedicated to supplying masks to the community. Anyone in need can place a request for a mask on the page.