Sewing Masks in Markham

sewing masks

Keeping People Safe In My New Neighbourhood

“What a huge adjustment – downsizing from our home into Parkview Village, a senior’s complex in Markham,” says Barb Ribble from Wideman Mennonite Church. “We looked forward to getting to know our new neighbours and becoming involved in all the activities. We were nicely settling into our new home when our whole world changed. Covid-19 arrived in March and we were suddenly isolated! All activities in our building ceased and we were told not to gather!” 

Barb found herself in a very different situation than she had planned. Sheryl Wideman, Barb’s long-term friend is also from Wideman Mennonite Church. Barb and Sheryl looked around and saw a need. “We began making masks for the residents at Parkview,” Barb says. “We sewed and sewed for weeks and the masks disappeared as soon as we put them out!”

People began to call Barb, send notes, cookies and even stopped her in the hall to thank her. “That’s how I got to know so many people so quickly in spite of lockdown,” she said. Barb and Sheryl have sewn over 430 masks each and are now making scrub caps as well.  People have supplied them with fabric, thread and t-shirts for ties. A company even sent them 400 feet of ear loop elastic at no charge.

woman running in neighbourhood“We feel we are contributing to help keep people safe."

They have since joined the Sewing Army online and now fill orders for masks and caps for various hospitals and organizations.  “We feel we are contributing to help keep people safe,” Barb says.

Parkview is two blocks away from Barb’s former residence. She passes by former neighbours on her daily runs.  “I stop in every few weeks to do a wellness check to make sure they are healthy and happy,” she says. “I stand in their driveways and they talk from their doorways.”

People across MCEC continue to find creative and innovate ways to stay connected during this time of pandemic - covid stories of hope.