(Above Photo: Student with a hand-sewn masks)
Front line and office workers of the VNA of Manchester and Southern NH were thrilled to receive some beautifully designed, hand-sewn masks from the Lazarus House Sewing students led by Bonnie Mahan.
Fun pediatric-sized cloth masks were also lovingly sewn to give to children in the community. In addition to the masks, cloth headbands with hand-sewn buttons have been donated by some amazing volunteers throughout the state of New Hampshire!
Lazarus House is a Catholic mission to the homeless located in Lawrence, MA. Approximately 15 years ago, Bonnie Mahan with a team of community volunteers, including one of our VNA nurses, Camille Gaydos, RN, started a high-quality, hot breakfast program for the homeless in the heart of the city. Each week, hundreds of the community’s homeless and marginalized adults, with their families, are fed a homemade, hot breakfast where volunteers develop friendships to help provide dignity and resources.
In an effort to develop these friendships, Bonnie Mahan started offering sewing lessons to some of the individuals coming into the shelter to get breakfast and get warm. She now has six sewing classes full of students that have the heart to give back and help their community at large.
Students from these classes have now hand sewed over 1,200 cloth masks and more are coming!
All the materials are donated. In fact, when they were recently running low on elastic bands, a donation appeared just in time! Bonnie reflects on this moment, “I believe this was a direct answer to prayer so we could keep sewing for not only your front line workers but other hospitals in the area.”
Here at the VNA, masks were delivered and scooped up readily by front line health care workers, such as our nurses, LNAs, therapists, and administrative staff.
Volunteers have also rallied in our community and hand sewed N95 mask covers as well as headbands with buttons to help protect our clinicians’ ears as they wear their masks during their home visits! The VNA would like to thank Bonnie Mahan and the Lazarus House sewing classes, Wendy Shipman, Lynn Wong, Lavinia Miller, and Pat Hysom for caring so much for our home care and hospice staff!
A student models her new mask