GOSHEN – In early April, an Amish man in Middlebury found out that Goshen Health had created kits for the community to sew masks. He showed up to request 150 kits, each containing enough materials for 10 masks.
Colleagues at Goshen Health gave him all the kits they had at the time – 75. A few days later, he returned to pick up more kits.
The man’s volunteer network of seamstresses was made up of his wife and women from several churches in his district. His sister cut out material to distribute to families in her church. These efforts resulted in over 4,500 masks being donated to Goshen Health, according to a news release.
Paul Schlabach, an Amishman involved in the project, shared this:
“If our goal in life is to see how we can be a blessing to others, it’s kind of hard to do when we’re hunkered down at home,” Schlabach said. “This was an opportunity to give back in a small way to people that are giving back in a big way. After all, are we not all called to be the hands and feet of Jesus?”
Businesses have donated, as well as community members from their own supplies. The head of Goshen Health appreciates all the efforts:
Fabric donated by Northwest Interiors supplied enough for approximately 2,000 masks. One of the districts offered to sew an additional 500 to 700 masks from fabric their community members were donating from what they had, according to the news release. When material for 700 polypropylene masks was donated by Nisco and KZ, Inc., the Amish community offered to sew those masks as well.
“We’ve been amazed by the generosity, organization and commitment of the Amish community in using their gifts to help in this crisis,” Goshen Health President and CEO Randy Christophel said. “We are so fortunate to be the recipients of their compassion and hard work. Thank you so much for helping us all to be safer.”
In addition to the 4,500 already made, Goshen Health has supplies for 3,000 more masks. The Amish community have expressed willingness to make the majority of those.