May 21, 2024

How One Local 1503 Member Is Taking Urgent Action During the Pandemic


So, this all started when I came across a Facebook group of local crafters who are making masks for hospitals in the Pocono Mountains and the Lehigh valley. Monroe County, where I live in PA, is one of the harder hit areas in the state. (We are really an extended suburb of Manhattan in many ways).

I do not sew often but I know the basics and I had all the right materials just sitting here in the closet- things that belonged to my mom that I had no plan to use but couldn’t throw away. The ladies in the Facebook group were having a hard time finding cotton fabric and other supplies. So, it was not so much a decision to help as it was a call to urgent action. It’s like if there was an old-fashioned war going on and I was just sitting here on a pile of chain mail and shields. I thought…”I can’t NOT do this”

Then while researching patterns and methods and materials, out came the recommendation that EVERYONE wear masks. “What about my family, friends and coworkers?? How will they find protection when materials are scarce??”

So, I made the open offer on my FB page (and to people in ‘real life’). “Who needs masks??” And in the past two weeks I have made and distributed nearly 100 reusable cloth face masks!

I will keep on sewing!—possibly forever—there is still a mountain of cotton fabric here. I will continue to take requests from anyone in need.

I don’t want to ask for any payment, but some folks have insisted, so I set up a Venmo account and I will gratefully accept any donations to help cover my expenses (mainly shipping costs) so that I may continue to offer my creations as a public service.

—Michelle Camisa (Local 1503)

Leave a Reply