Members of a VFW Post in rural Michigan looked for a way to help its community in March during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stacey Roberts, commander of VFW Post 3701 in Lakeview, Mich., said that hospitals in the Lakeview area were running low on face masks and more were needed to protect medical professionals treating patients. Roberts added that it wasn’t safe for health care workers or patients without masks during a pandemic.
“The hospitals were so low on face masks that they only authorized workers one mask per day,” Roberts said. “They were told to keep their mask in a brown paper sack between patients.”
The Post started assembling masks before the state announced a stay-at-home order on March 24. Hospitals weren’t even accepting donations for hand-made masks, Roberts said.
“But we could see the path we were on, and we thought it was better to have masks made and never used than masks not being available at all,” Roberts said.
Over a three-day period, 19 Post volunteers successfully made and packaged more than 450 masks with adjustable straps, bendable nose pieces and pockets for filters.
Roberts said the Post plans on making more masks and has planned a blood drive for April 10 with the Red Cross.
“It is times like this that, as a community organization, we need to do our part and serve those who keep us safe on the home front in the way they supported us while we were fighting overseas,” Roberts said.