Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

GRAVENHURST — If you see more personalized masks around Muskoka this week, they may be the handiwork of a virtual sewing bee.

Barb McCabe and Pam McDivitt are just two of about 50 sewers across town who have produced almost 1,000 colouful cloth facial covers to combat “the spread of this horrible virus.”

Not content to sit home alone and do nothing about the pandemic, in a week they came together online in response to a call for help due to a PPE shortage — and after health officials finally admitted they may actually help beyond social distancing.

Their motto is: ‘Let’s Mask Our Town.’

“The drive, determination and devotion our group exhibits is amazing,” McCabe told MuskokaTODAY.com.

“It not only makes each and every one of us feel like we are helping in one small way, but thrills us to see the responses as these handcrafted masks are handed out in Gravenhurst.

“These folks from all over Gravenhurst have offered their talents so that our workers and townsfolk all have a mask to don when either working or shopping, pumping gas, getting takeout food, etc.”

She says there are close to four dozen sewers and many others who are happy to do deliveries; or help if they don’t have a sewing machine or can’t sew.

McCabe says they aren’t making masks from one particular pattern. Many have done their research and found a pattern that works well with their talents.

She says they are “trying our best to get these masks to our town — hoping it makes even a small difference.”

As of Monday, April 13, they had delivered more than 900 masks.

“And we haven’t stopped,” McCabe says enthusiastically.

Masks have been delivered to The Manor, Granite Ridge, Muskoka Shores, Sobeys, Giant Tiger, G.A.P, Circles, Well Fed, The Beer Store, MacDonalds, Petro Canada Gas Bar, Mr. Sub, Tim Hortons, Swiss Chalet, Subway, Granite Trail , LCBO, the doctors’ offices, and the condos at the Wharf.

They have also been handed out to doctors’ offices, store workers, drive-thru personnel, nursing homes, health care workers who do in-home calls and the list goes on with more requests coming in every day (even from other parts of Muskoka who apparently do not have this amazing group of sewers, drivers).

She says “it’s interesting that we are getting requests from all over Muskoka.

Recently they received a request from Canadian Mental Health Muskoka area and delivered to them in Bracebridge.

They are spreading the word and asking for help via email.

If you or anyone in your household would like a mask(s) to do grocery shopping, go to doctor appointment or go out in public. If so would you please contact McCabe at marvbarbmccabe@gmail.com

The group also welcomes any sewers who would like to join them.

So, if you have the time and the desire, “please consider becoming part of this great group.”

“We have one location in town where we store our material and collect the finished product,” added McCabe.

If you are interested or have any questions, contact McCabe at marvbarbmccabe@gmail.com

They are coordinating a list, and McDivitt will produce packages you can then pick up at “Pam’s Porch” 8 Stonehenge Close in Pine Ridge.

Or they can have one of their volunteer drivers bring packages to your home.

Pam McDivitt, one of the organizers of “the amazing group,” delivers first batch of masks to The Manor retirement home in Gravenhurst this week.
Lois Bainbridge shows one of the more than 900 masks the group has stitched together for delivery around Gravenhurst.
Gayle Rivers displays her handiwork. Sewers don’t have any set patterns but are free to come up with their own designs.

Email Mark Clairmont at mark@muskokatoday.com

Or news@muskokatoday.com

Celebrating 25 YEARS of ‘Local Online Journalism’

Follow him at Twitter @muskokatodaily

And on Facebook at mark@muskokatodaily.com

Follow us on Twitter @muskokatodaily

And on Facebook at mclairmont1

Email news@muskokatoday.com

Letters to the Editor always welcome:

Let us know what you’re thinking. Click on the Comment button at the end of this story to leave your comments.

Or write a Letter to the Editor …

And … please Subscribe:

Support Your Community’s Newspaper
at https://muskokatoday.com/subscriptions