Community members join the fight against COVID-19

Miriam Campan
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
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Rita Hofer and Marilyn Stahl have been busy volunteers, creating masks for distribution to local organizations.
Photo by Miriam Campan

When CMMC reached out to Lewistown’s Sew Pieceful to make fabric masks for hospital staff, the response was very quick and tremendous. Tammy Eckhardt, Lewistown Sew Pieceful’s proprietor employed social media rather than social distancing to call for assistance.  
“CMMC contacted me and requested assistance in making fabric masks. The response from volunteers has been overwhelming,” said Eckhardt.  
When the store began to run short of a key material (elastic) for the mask’s construction, customers came to the community’s assistance and donated elastic for free distribution.
Eckhardt said, “We’ve ordered more elastic and expect it to arrive next week. Other customers have donated materials towards the supplies necessary for making the masks.”
“People may bring completed masks to our store or they can call me at 535-3122 for more information for the hospital contact,” Eckhardt added.
Also answering the COVID-19 call are Marilyn Stahl and Rita Hofer, who have been making fabric masks and distributing them to organizations in need, such as the State Home and the Council on Aging.
Stahl, from Ayers Colony, said, “We have made over 200 masks in an assembly-like production line. Right now we have four participants in the Colony who are trying to help out and that is the least we can do.”
Rita Hofer, from King Colony, has also been distributing masks with Stahl throughout the Lewistown community.
It takes Hofer, an experienced crafts-person, as little as 10 minutes to make a fabric mask.

Hofer said, “I’ve also been making masks for the Moore Volunteer Fire Department.”
Susie Wilber, RN and member of the COVID-19 response team at CMMC said, “We so appreciate our community for their willingness, their generosity and their support.”
The following link offers a simple tutorial on how to make the fabric masks,


Infectious Disease Researcher Raina MacIntyre, in a recent NPR column, made the following recommendations for fabric masks and their usage.
• Use a mask if it keeps you from touching your face.
• Wear a mask if you have a respiratory illness to prevent the spread to others.
• Remove the mask from the back after usage, as touching the mask from the front can cause unnecessary contamination.
• Wash your hands, but also wash the fabric mask after  each usage.



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