If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
With an acute shortage of masks effecting millions across the globe, individuals are pulling out their sewing machines to fill the void.
“I wanted to help anyone who didn’t have access to one,” Patsy Bilbo said. “This is my small contribution to fighting Miss Rona.”
Bilbo isn’t the only one who’s joined the fight. Plenty more Post residents including Nancy McDonald, Francis Gomez and Shellee Odom have contributed to combating the mask shortage as well.
“With the coronavirus getting more serious, people still needed face masks,” Odom said. “So, I started making pleated masks with my basic machine.”
Odom, an enthusiastic DIYer, said her mask making all began with an in-the-hoop embroidery pattern that she found.
“The patterns had cute little animal noses on them, and I thought I would make a few for my grandkids,” she said.
However, it wasn’t until Odom’s Facebook post that she began to receive requests for the masks.
“I’m a pretty big social media poster,” Odom said. “So, I had to show off the cuteness of the masks on Facebook. I immediately started receiving requests to make more.”
Luckily, Odom had plenty of fabric for the job.
“I’m an avid crafter” Odom said, “and, as such, had a huge cabinet of fabric.”
However, as the requests began to grow, Odom began to reach out to others for help.
“Before I knew it, my list was pages long,” she said. “I used my own stash, bought more and have had friends and family donate towards the making of more masks.”
Some friends and family even went as far as to help Odom create the masks and share fabric from their own sewing stashes.
“My mother and daddy, Betty and Jim Curry, have helped cut the fabric squares used to make masks,” she said. “My mom, sweet friends; Julia Childs and Loane Bond and my husband’s aunt; Sue Warren all shared their sewing stashes of fabric and supplies.”
In fact, Odom has begun to give back, gifting masks to those in need.
“I’ve given several away,” Odom said. “A few friends have given me money to cover the costs of masks for people in the community that need one but are not financially able to purchase one.”
Although Odom’s masks have helped plenty of community members, she also says they have helped her during these unprecedented times in which a portion of her income has been cut.
“My husband’s job is considered essential, so we do have an income,” Odom said. “But my income is generated by participating monthly, with my husband, as a vendor at Old Mill Trade Days and at Fredericksburg Trade Days. Neither are considered essential businesses or events, so we are losing a big chunk of our livelihood.”
However, the masks have helped generate income for Odom’s family.
“Making masks not only helps keep our community, friends and family safe,” Odom said, “it also helps supplement our lack of income.”
As the pandemic continues, Odom plans to continue to make masks.
“People still need face masks,” Odom said.
“I’ve constructed and distributed around 50 masks,” Bilbo said, “and will continue to do so as long as there is a need.”
To purchase a mask, see Odom’s Facebook page at “Shellee Curry Odom.” Each mask is multi-layered with a nose wire for a better fit and ties to prevent sore ears. Masks are $5.