KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is a new force in the national movement to make face masks for health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
Fellowship Church, which has two locations in Raymore and Greenwood, has 75 seamstresses sewing cloth face masks for health care workers.
Barb Yerganian is an engineer and a veteran quilter. When she 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. We roll up our sleeves and we do whatever we can to help," Yerganian said.
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," Douglas 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," Yerganian 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 (PPE), 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.
"We pray for safety and endurance for the health care workers and their patients," Yerganian said.