In March, 2020, as the coronavirus crisis loomed around the world, Ruth Dennison’s friends in the medical community came to her with stories of critically short supplies, which made treating patients even more challenging. Doctors and nurses were reusing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), risking exposure to themselves and others. Sometimes they simply did not have what they needed.
Ruth had to help.
So, in the middle of the night, she reached out on social media. Brief, brightly colored messages, on Facebook, to anyone who was there: Do you sew? Do you have a sewing machine? Do you hoard fabric? Please share - we have a task to accomplish! By the next morning, people wanted to know more. Help began to pour in.
A week later, with a little help from friends, and friends of her friends - she had led an initiative that designed and published a precise, yet simple pattern for a face mask that covers the N95 masks used in hospitals and other facilities. She rounded up an army of volunteer Stitch Wizards to make the masks. She rounded up a Mount Everest of fabric, elastic and thread, including a truckload from Joann Fabric, all the way from California. She rounded up a distribution network, to hand out fabric, elastic, and mask kits, and to receive and account for completed work. All while trying to stay healthy and work around Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order.
By the end of that wild week, 530 masks had been completed and delivered to the medical warriors in the Lehigh Valley. A few days later, 500 more masks joined them.
But just who is Ruth Dennison? Stay tuned...