Local Church Donates Over 250 Masks to Westminster Residents
For the safety of everyone at our communities, we require that all team members wear a face covering while at work, and strongly encourage residents to do so whenever they leave their homes.
But it’s not easy getting enough face masks to support 7,000 residents and 3,000 team members! Read about some of the donations we’ve received previously from volunteers, residents and staff.
One local church group took matters into their own hands, turning their quilt-making group that provides blankets for the homeless into a “Mask Ministry.” They have produced more than 1,000 masks since the start of this pandemic.
Members of St. John Lutheran Church in Winter Park were inspired by the 100 Million Mask Challenge to make high-quality, non-medical masks for residents of senior living communities, those made vulnerable due to health conditions, and the homeless throughout Central Florida.
Karen Goldsmith, an attorney, is the ministry’s coordinator. She said that within the first few weeks of beginning in late March, the group made more than 900 masks and had already far exceeded their original goal.
“We set out thinking we’d make 200 or 300 and we’d be done,” Goldsmith said. “But every time we bring the masks somewhere, we hear that they need even more.”
Westminster Towers and Westminster Winter Park have received more than 250 masks donated from the Mask Ministry. We are very thankful to have these contributions to help residents take precautions.
The group of 12 in the Mask Ministry – Goldsmith, Karen Schneeberger, Shelda Wilkins, Debbie Carl, Leigh Nicoll, Mary Jacob, Anita Bormann, Yvonni Lopera, Gwen Kowalski, Erica Magtyra, Tyler Magtyra, Jeff Hooie — wanted to help seniors and the homeless so that they can stay safe. “We offered the masks first to Orlando Lutheran Towers, and after that the Orlando Rescue Mission,” Goldsmith said. “When we heard about the need, we expanded to include the residents at Westminster Towers and Westminster Winter Park.”
They divided their labor into cutting, sewing and delivery: Six sew, five cut the material and two pick up and delivery, with some overlap in roles.
Goldsmith said that the hardest part of making the masks has been getting the material. “It’s been impossible to get elastic or material for the interfacing,” she said. “I always have a stash of fabric to make the outside of the masks. We recently made some for a pediatric practice and I had what I needed to make really cute ones for the kids.”
“These masks are needed so badly!” said Goldsmith. “It’s been a fun way and an important way for us to make a difference.”
Westminster Communities of Florida appreciates all of the contributions from the Mask Ministry at St. John Lutheran Church in Winter Park. To learn what we’re doing to navigate the pandemic, and how you can contribute, visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources page.