Mobile County has unfortunately become one of the hotspots for COVID-19 in Alabama. But individuals and organizations are working tirelessly to help their community.
Catherine Drake has been sewing since she was 7. Now, she’s been able to use that skill, taught on her grandma’s old sewing machine, to help in the COVID-19 crisis.
She explains how easy it is to feel out of control in a situation like this. Making masks has given her an outlet where she can not only help contribute to the cause, but she can feel as if she is more in control during this tumultuous time.
Catherine didn’t stop at masks though. She has also been making “isolation gowns” for a charity called the Little Sisters of the Poor. This organization helps support the elderly who are facing poverty. Currently, they are working to provide these individuals the PPE they need.
Catherine says that sewing these materials makes her think back to her family’s history. Her grandmother, who survived the 1918 Spanish Flu, sewed stars on American flags. Her grandmother did what she had to do during that time, and now Catherine is following suit.
Jenni Zimlich is one of the founders of The Krewe of Kindness. For the last few years the organization has made pillowcases for the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. It’s personal for Jenni because her daughter, Delaney, another one of the founders, was born with a rare condition called spina bifida and has benefited from the hospital’s care.
Now The Krewe of Kindness is making masks. Jenni and the organization’s other leaders explained that it was a logical solution. They couldn’t contribute their skills medically, but they could give back by working with their hands. So far, they’ve donated over 500 masks.
They aren’t the only organization helping either. Thanks to the Krewe of Kindness, other organizations, and the work of individuals, 1,500 masks have been provided to the health system.
These people describe their volunteerism as a giving them a “helpers’ high.” Jenni says it’s a shame to have valuable skills and not use them and she says that using them provides positive, good energy. It’s therapeutic. As Catherine said, it provides a feeling of control. You can use this activity to channel your nervous energy and transform it into something tangible and beneficial for the cause.
As difficult as this situation is, some beautiful things have come from it. As each new individual and organization decides to chip in, a bit of faith in humanity is restored.
You can read more about this county’s efforts here.