‘I sew and saw a desperate need’

Manchester resident Cindee Batey is not simply waiting for the COVID-19 outbreak to end. She wants to help. Realizing that shortage of masks is a big issue, she made battling that problem her mission.

Manchester resident Cindee Batey is not simply waiting for the COVID-19 outbreak to end. She wants to help. Realizing that shortage of masks is a big issue, she made battling that problem her mission.

“I kept seeing news on TV that the medical field was running out of masks,” Batey said.

With hospitals and doctors’ offices lacking necessary protective supplies, the frontline fighters against the virus would be exposed to the dangers of the contagion. Batey would not let that happen.

Reports about people that were sick and had to go out to appointments with no protection disturbed Batey.

“I then saw a lady on Facebook from Pennsylvania that was making masks,” she said.

Batey thought that was a great idea and started learning how she could make masks.

“I read how to make them safer by lining them with a tightly woven fabric,” Batey said. “They by no means are or will be medical grade protection, but I just knew anything is better than nothing.”

She turned her skill into force helping others.

“I sew and saw a desperate need,” Batey said. “I have a sewing room with a good amount of fabric, thread and elastic. I had no reason not to step up and offer help. I put a Facebook post up and there was immediate interest and need. Doing this project fills my heart with happiness.”

Knowing she’s helping people that cannot sew or acquire a mask has been very satisfying, she said.

“I had a lot of the proper fabric but quickly ran short,” Batey said. “I've purchased at Walmart and Joann Fabric and Craft store. Joann made up little kits with enough to make five masks, either adult or child size masks, with fabric and thread but no elastic, as there is none to be found. The kits are free. I needed many more that five though.”

Batey does not sell the masks.

“I started this solely with the intention to help, not make money,” Batey said. “My time and materials are donated.”

She’s proud of Manchester residents.

“I am not the only maker in our community,” Batey said. “There are other who have stepped up and are doing the same thing. I have had multiple amazing people, whether they needed masks or not, donated funds to purchase more supplies. I've had other amazing folks reach deep in their sewing closets and bring fabric, elastic, and thread, dropping those materials in my mailbox. This truly is a community effort to keep us all a little bit safer.”

If you need masks, contact Batey on Facebook.

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