A number of volunteer seamstresses at Southeast Community College are playing their part during the COVID-19 outbreak by sewing and donating cloth face masks. Close to a dozen members of the SCC community created more than 100 masks and hats, with more on the way.

“My grandma, who was a beautiful seamstress, taught me to sew when I was 7,” said Vicki Coffin, nursing assistant instructor at SCC. “Being considered high risk prevents me from helping on those front lines, so sewing the masks is a way to help the cause with respect to the social distancing directives.”

The target audience for the face masks is long-term care facilities, critical access hospitals and first responders. So far, SCC has delivered to Sumner Place Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation and the Lincoln Police Department, with many other requests to other health facilities. The CDC recommends wearing face masks in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult.

“Materials are donated by the seamstresses,” said Jill Sand, dean of SCC’s Health Sciences Division who is helping coordinate the effort. “They have been using their fabric stashes and supplies to make the masks. Currently, elastic is difficult to find for purchase so they are getting creative and using ponytail holders and making fabric tie masks.”

This is all part of SCC’s Community Action Team, which is creating ways to help in the community during this health crisis.

"I have great appreciation and pride that our SCC family and community have come together on this and other community action projects,” Coffin added.

If you are interested in helping sew masks, find out more by contacting scccommunityaction@southeast.edu.