She began making masks more than a month ago for her family and friends. “I am a one-man band on this project,” says Nancy Smith, Birmingham First member and part of the First Nurses team. As a seamstress, she has developed her own method using a combination of DIY mask instructions she found on the internet. “I actually made a short YouTube video of my method for others interested in sewing masks,” she explains.
With a strong connection to St. Joes Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, she was asked for masks and that became her first “bulk” mask project and delivery. She then began to think about smaller companies and nonprofits that perhaps were lost in the shuffle of being a recipient of the state of Michigan personal protection equipment items, PPEs. She quickly discovered that adult foster care homes, nursing homes and food pantries in her local area of Metamora were “delighted” to receive masks. She then wondered about Birmingham First’s missions outreach and organizations such as Cass Community Social Services, The NOAH Project, and Baldwin, all of whom quickly raised their hands in need.
“Lack of supplies is my biggest challenge. Could be elastic, the metal nose piece or even fabric, which for a while was difficult to get” she states. But with each challenge she just modified the plan – elastic became ties for a while and the nose pieces changed forms many times.
The nicest thanks she has received was from Linked Hearts Food Pantry in Dryden, MI. “I refused to take any monetary donation from them for the masks I made, but after my second delivery, the ladies handed me yards and yards of fabric that they collected on my behalf. It was awesome!!!!”
She has created and distributed more than 450 masks (100 delivered this week to the Baldwin Center) and continues to help where she can with much passion and joy.
Thank you, Nancy, for being the hands and feet of Christ.
“But with each challenge, I just modified the plan.”